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Public Policy

What does the Office of Public Policy do?

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) exists to find cures and ensure access to treatments for blood cancer patients. To advance this mission, LLS’s Office of Public Policy (OPP) supports a policy agenda aimed at accelerating the development of new treatments for cancer and breaking down the barriers to care that patients often encounter.

How do we decide where to leverage our expertise and vast advocacy network?

OPP is very deliberate in how it decides which issues to pursue and when and how OPP will engage on those issues.

All issues are put through two filters to determine appropriateness for action:

  • How does the issue impact blood cancer patients and survivors?
    If OPP engages in this policy area, will it accelerate the development of new therapies and/or ensure access to quality, affordable, coordinated care for cancer? 
  • What is the political and practical viability of the policies that have been proposed as a solution to the issue at hand?
    OPP may decide to develop a policy position on an issue, update and/or amend OPP’s position on an issue, or remain entirely neutral on an issue by not taking a formal position.

Once LLS decides to engage on an issue affecting blood cancer patients, OPP works to identify a policy solution, assess internal and external capacity to engage on that issue, engage stakeholder partners, and leverage opportunities for progress. OPP then mobilizes to educate policymakers and apply pressure. Advocate volunteers are crucial to this effort.

Breaking down barriers

OPP’s work to develop solutions, mobilize advocates and educate policymakers takes place on two fronts:

  • Legislators
    We work with both the state and federal lawmakers to advance laws that break down barriers to care for people with blood cancer and other pre-existing conditions—including limiting patients’ out-of-pocket costs; securing patients’ access to quality, affordable health insurance; and increasing funding for cancer research and drug reviews.
  • Executive officials
    LLS strives to ensure that the patient voice is heard and considered by federal and state agencies like the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and state insurance commissions and Medicaid agencies. LLS works with these policymakers to advance changes that expedite the approval of safe and effective drugs and hold insurance companies accountable for providing quality care to cancer patients.

LLS Coverage Principles

OPP developed a set of core Coverage Principles that we believe are necessary to maintaining blood cancer patients’ access to meaningful health insurance, as well as the specific policies that must be enshrined in the laws and rules that underpin our healthcare ecosystem. These principles guide the work that we do on the state and federal fronts and shape all the policies that we champion.

View LLS Coverage Principles