A coalition of public health groups have sent a letter to Gov. Kathy Hochul urging her to sign legislation that would expand biomarker testing here in New York.

This biomarker testing could help target cancer treatments, clearer prognoses and lead to more positive outcomes.

Dr. Larry Norton, an oncologist who serves as the medical director of the Evelyn H. Lauder Breast Center at Memorial Sloan Kettering, told Capital Tonight that the legislation could reduce socioeconomic disparities, and allow “all New Yorkers to take advantage of the really extraordinary advances that we’re making in cancer medicine.”

The bill, which is sponsored by state Assembly Member Pam Hunter and state Sen. Roxanne Persaud, would require health insurance plans and Medicaid to cover the expense of this biomarker testing.

Right now, there isn’t a requirement for these plans to cover this testing in New York.

Norton says that cancer treatments have advanced in recent years because “we can target molecules that make the cancer, cancerous.”

They use the biomarkers to target treatments which can give patients and doctors a clearer prognosis and potentially more effective treatments.

The bill has passed both chambers, but has not been sent to the governor. Once the bill is delivered to the governor, she has 10 days, excluding Sundays, to either sign or veto the legislation.