MISSOULA, Mont.—Both major candidates for Montana’s U.S. Senate seat have publicly stated their positions on key issues and policies to help fight cancer if they are elected. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) encouraged Governor Steve Bullock and Senator Steve Daines to state their positions on these critical issues as part of ACS CAN’s national Cancer Votes campaign—the nation’s leading voter education program to educate the public and candidates about the actions lawmakers should take to make fighting cancer a national priority. Listen to their responses at www.cancervotes.org/montana.
"Almost every one of us is touched by cancer at some point in our lives, and our lawmakers make decisions every day that impact cancer patients, survivors and their families," said Keri Yoder, state lead ambassador for ACS CAN Montana. "That’s why it’s so important that voters know where our candidates stand on issues that will help us prevent and treat cancer in Montana and nationwide."
Specifically, both candidates answered the following questions:
- Access to Health Care: The decision on whether or not to repeal the Affordable Care Act will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. If it is overturned, how do you think we should protect Americans with pre-existing conditions like cancer?
- Saving Lives through Cancer Research: Will you vote for annual increases in cancer research funding for the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute?
- Rural Health Care: Montanans in rural areas are often diagnosed with cancer at later stages, which have worse survivorship outcomes. They face unique challenges to cancer care including workforce shortages, long travel distances, lack of access to specialists, insurance obstacles, and less clinical trial access. If elected, how will you address the challenges of rural cancer care?
- Health Equity for American Indians: American Indians are the largest racial and ethnic group in Montana, with a life expectancy 20 years less than non-Indians; cancer is a leading cause of death. Obstacles to cancer prevention and better outcomes include but are not limited to lack of access to health insurance, doctors, transportation and healthy foods. If elected, how would you advocate to increase health equity for American Indian people?
"During the election season, we know that the candidates are listening to what their potential constituents have to say, so this is the perfect opportunity to remind Governor Bullock and Senator Daines about the actions they can take to help make cancer a national priority," Yoder continued. "Whichever candidate wins, we will work with them to support laws and policies to help fight this disease."
This year in Montana, roughly 5,850 Montanans will be diagnosed with cancer and more than 2,100 will die from the disease.
ACS CAN is strictly non-partisan and does not endorse, oppose, or contribute to any candidate or political party. For more information and to listen to the candidates’ responses to our questions, visit www.cancervotes.org/montana.
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit www.fightcancer.org. 1903 Central Ave. Billings, MT 59102.