American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network volunteer Courtney Hurtig, of Overland Park, joined more than 100 other cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, physicians and researchers in Washington, D.C., this week to urge lawmakers to make fighting cancer a top national priority. These advocates united as part of the 19th annual One Voice Against Cancer lobby day to request cancer research funding at the National Cancer Institute and National Institutes of Health.
CHIP Reauthorization Critical For Children With Cancer On Medicaid
Access to Critical Cancer Prevention for Low-Income Adults Threatened by Delay in funding for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs)
Washington, D.C.,— Congress today included funding to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six years as part of a short-term extension in the FY18 spending bill. However, lawmakers delayed consideration of renewed funding for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) until later budget negotiations are completed, threatening access to critical primary care and cancer prevention services for low-income Americans. In 2016, 26 million people relied on more than 1,000 FQHCs for their health care nationwide.
A statement from Chris Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) follows:
“We are pleased to see Congress prioritizing access to quality, affordable and comprehensive health care coverage to nearly 9 million lower income children, many whom have been affected by cancer. The Children’s Health Insurance program(CHIP) is an integral part of the safety-net for lower-income children and their families who depend on care through the program.
“Since the expiration of federal funding for both CHIP and FQHCs, families have faced uncertainty as to whether they will have access to health care services. FQHCs play a critical role in providing quality preventive and primary care services to cancer patients and survivors, as well as individuals who may be diagnosed with cancer.
“Without funding, many low-income individuals will forego recommended cancer screenings like mammograms, Pap Smears and colorectal cancer screenings, resulting in later stage diagnoses when cancer is more expensive to treat and harder to survive. Maintaining access to quality, affordable, accessible, and comprehensive health care coverage and services is a matter of life and survivorship for thousands of low-income cancer patients and survivors.
“On behalf of families affected by cancer, ACS CAN urges Congress to include funding in the final FY18 budget for FQHCs and important cancer screening and prevention programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as robust funding for cancer research at the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute. This funding is essential to our ability to advance detection and treatment of cancer across the country.”