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July 26, 2014

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Sandoval signs series of health-related bills

CARSON CITY – One bill that will save some cancer patients thousands of dollars and another to require the state to pay extra for kidney dialysis have been signed by Gov. Brian Sandoval.

The governor also approved continuing the bi-state Tahoe Regional Planning Agency but vetoed a bill to permit raw milk from being sold statewide.

The cancer bill would require insurance companies that cover cancer treatment to apply the same deductible to both oral and intravenous chemotherapy.

There was testimony during the Legislature that some cancer insurance policies had a zero deductible for intravenous therapy while patients who require oral medication pay $2,856 for the prescription.

The International Myeloma Foundation said the bill, Senate Bill 266, will give cancer patients “affordable access to the most effective treatment for their cancer, without having to worry about breaking the bank.”

The bill does not require insurance policies to cover cancer.

The governor approved Assembly Bill 1 that requires the state in its Medicaid plan to “pay the nonfederal share of expenses incurred in the administration of dialysis that is provided to stabilize a patient with kidney failure.”

Sandoval also signed Senate Bill 229 that retains the bi-state agency to protect the environment of Lake Tahoe. “This new law renews our commitment to work together to do what’s best for the environment and economy of the Lake Tahoe Region,” he said.

Under a bill approved in a previous Legislature, the bi-state regional planning agency would have been disbanded, returning regulations to the counties.

The governor shot down Senate Bill 209, which would have permitted raw milk certified by a county milk commission to be sold anywhere in the state.

The governor said the bill will not mitigate the health risks associated with consumption of unpasteurized milk.

“According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, consumption of raw milk is 150 times more likely to cause food-borne illness than pasteurized milk,” the governor said in his veto message.

The governor also approved Assembly Bill 228, which would permit a licensed doctor in another state to provide voluntary health care in Nevada. This bill was promoted by rural county legislators who say there is a shortage of physicians in less-populated areas.

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