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.
Short-Term Funding Bill Prioritizes Increased Investment in Funding for Cancer Research, Protects Access to Health Care Services
Cancer Patients, Survivors and Families Urge Congress to Significantly Increase Cancer Research Funding in Final FY18 Appropriations
Washington, D.C.— February 9, 2018 – Early this morning, Congress passed a short-term extension to the FY18 spending bill that included a deal to lift budget caps for FY18 and FY19 budgets, enabling appropriators to work to finalize FY18 spending bills. The budget agreement allows for an increase of at least $1 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for each of the FY18 and FY19 years, includes two years of funding for Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and an additional four years of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
A statement from Chris Hansen, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) follows:
“The short-term spending bill passed by Congress calls for an increased investment in medical research funding over the next two years and protects access to care for millions of low-income adults and children.
“ACS CAN is encouraged by this commitment to an initial investment in cancer research and urges members of Congress to build on the broad bipartisan consensus by working together to continue the progress in cancer research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for both FY18 and FY19 by appropriating at least $2 billion per year.
“Consistent and sustainable funding increases for the NIH are essential to ensuring researchers can keep innovating and developing new potentially lifesaving diagnostic tests, treatments and therapies for diseases like cancer.
“In addition, Congress should maintain funding for cancer prevention and screening programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and for important tobacco cessation programs through the Office of Smoking and Health (OSH).
“The decision to fund Federally Qualified Health Care Centers (FQHCs) for two years and further extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for an additional four years will provide peace of mind to millions of low-income adults and children, including many cancer patients, who rely on these programs for critical health care services.
“While this deal addresses a number of critical federal programs that are instrumental in making progress against cancer, ACS CAN is disappointed that the legislation cuts the Prevention and Public Health Fund by $1.35 billion as an offset for spending. Funding for effective prevention programs is critical to reducing death and suffering from cancer, a disease that continues to kill 1,650 people a day in this country.
”With projections that more than 1.7 million people in America will be diagnosed with cancer this year, we need Congress to both prioritize funding for research into new tools, therapies and screening and prevention programs that implement the fruitful results of past research investment.”
About ACS CAN
ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit www.acscan.org.