600 Advocates Meet with Lawmakers at Annual ACS CAN Lobby Day

October 6, 2014

More than 600 cancer patients, survivors, caretakers, volunteers and staff from across the country convened recently in Washington, DC for the annual ACS CAN Leadership Summit and Lobby Day.

Constituents from all 50 states (plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam) and nearly every congressional district met with their lawmakers, urging Congress to support lifesaving policies that help prevent and fight cancer. In their 484 meetings in House and Senate offices in a single day, ACS CAN volunteers had three asks of their lawmakers:

  • Increase funding for cancer research and prevention programs. Recent years have seen funding cuts to the National Cancer Institute and Centers for Disease Control, stalling important research into cancer prevention, detection and treatment. Volunteers asked their representatives to restore this critical funding.
  • Improve patientsŠ—È quality of life through palliative care. Palliative care, an extra layer of support for patients with serious chronic diseases, ensures that health care providers are treating the disease while also ensuring the best possible quality of life for the patient. Advocates asked their representatives to co-sponsor bipartisan legislation that would make palliative care more available to patients who need it.
  • Remove cost barriers to colorectal cancer screenings. While the Affordable Care Act waives co-pays for screenings for colorectal cancer, Medicare patients can still face significant cost in the event a polyp is found during the screening. Advocates asked their representatives to co-sponsor legislation that would allow seniors to get these important screenings without being hit with unexpected costs.

Since Lobby Day, 61 Representatives and 10 Senators have signed on to support these bills. This list will continue to grow as volunteers follow-up with Members and their staffs and once Congress is back in session post-election.

Please join us by taking these messages to your lawmakers. We made a lot of progress this Lobby Day, but we still need your voice in this fight.

Contact your Senators and Representative about expanding access to palliative care.

Contact your Representative about increasing funding for cancer research.