Washington, D.C.—Today the U.S. House is poised to pass an FY 2020 spending bill that includes a $2 billion funding increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) including a $300 million funding boost for the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The bill also increases funding for cancer programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and allocates an additional $40 million for the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health (OSH), which provides funding for programs that help prevent youth from starting to use tobacco and helps adult tobacco users to quit.
A statement from Lisa Lacasse, president of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) follows:
“Significant year-over-year increases in medical research funding as proposed in this spending bill are essential to accelerating the fight against cancer and developing new, more effective ways to detect, diagnose and treat the disease. The $2 billion increase for NIH including $300 million for NCI is an excellent start. We urge the Senate to build on this allocation and boost total NIH funding to $2.5 billion and $378 billion for NCI. Fully funding NIH and NCI at these levels could mean the difference between a new test or treatment making it to the bedside rather than being left in the lab for the more than 700,000 Americans expected to be diagnosed with cancer this year.”
“Research alone cannot reduce the cancer burden if Americans are unable to get the care they need due to unaffordable or inadequate health coverage. We’re pleased the appropriations bill includes language to reverse the expansion of access to short-term, limited duration (STLD) health plans. These plans, which can deny people coverage based on pre-existing conditions and exclude coverage for services like prescription drugs, also risk destabilization of the individual health insurance market by siphoning away young, healthy people into these inadequate plans, while leaving Americans who need more comprehensive care struggling to afford the coverage they need.”
“Cancer prevention is critical to reducing suffering and death from this disease and we are pleased to see the proposed CDC funding increase, especially the additional $40 million for the CDC’s Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) and the $37 million increase for CDC’s cancer programs, including those for breast, cervical and colon cancer screenings. Tobacco use remains the number one preventable cause of cancer in our country. Access to age-appropriate cancer screenings is also critical to reducing the cancer burden.
“It’s also encouraging that for the first time Congress is acknowledging the role the U.S. government must play in reducing and eliminating cervical cancer deaths globally. The inclusion of language in the appropriations bill is exciting as we work to further define the U.S. contributions to this global effort.
“The appropriations bill being considered today makes fighting cancer a top priority. We urge the House to quickly pass this bill and help speed innovation in prevention, detection and treatment for this disease.”