Today, the New Jersey legislature passed the state’s operating budget. Included in that budget was an increase of $1.5 million in funding for the New Jersey Cancer Education and Early Detection (NJCEED) program for a total of $5 million.
ACS CAN Looks Forward to Working with Legislature to Pass Lifesaving Policy That Addresses Pandemic’s Impact on Cancer Care
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Priority for 2022 Legislative Session
TALLAHASSEE, FL – January 11, 2022 – As lawmakers dive into the 2022 legislative session, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) looks ahead to what public health initiatives lawmakers can accomplish in the new year.
“For more than twenty years, we’ve advocated for proven public health policies that both reduce the cancer burden as well as protect cancer patients and their families because all individuals deserve to live full, healthy lives now and long after the pandemic passes,” shared Susan Harbin, Florida Senior Government Relations Director at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.
Florida lawmakers have the opportunity to do more in ensuring adequate and affordable access to care specifically when it comes to cancer screenings. Increasing access to screening would come at a critical time for residents who continue to experience the heavy economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve been encouraged by the governor’s increased financial commitment to our state’s leading cancer centers as part of his proposed budget,” added Harbin. “It’s our hope the governor and legislature build on that momentum at this pivotal moment for early detection of cancer by significantly increasing funding for the Mary Brogan Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program to adequate levels that meet the severity of the pandemic’s impact and reach more eligible Floridians.”
Serving women between the ages of 50 to 64, the Mary Brogan program provides uninsured and medically underserved women access to timely screenings that would have otherwise gone without. Unfortunately at current funding levels, the program only reaches a mere 8.5% of eligible Floridians.
Early detection is key to survivorship, when treatment options are greater and less costly. An increase to $3 million in state funding would help to address the pandemic-driven backlog in screenings, better reach Black and Latin communities that have been hardest hit financially and save thousands of lives in the process.
Cancer patients, survivors and advocates from the panhandle to the Florida Keys will meet virtually with lawmakers over the issue during ACS CAN's annual Cancer Action Week beginning January 24, 2022. ACS CAN encourages individuals, businesses and organizations that are interested in these issues to reach out to ACS CAN to get involved in the fight against cancer at fightcancer.org/FL.