Pennsylvania State Budget Marks Productive Step in Fight against Cancer, Advocates Urge State to Prioritize Tobacco Control in Fiscal Code Bill
Statement from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Pennsylvania Government Relations Director Donna Greco
HARRISBURG, PA – AUGUST 4, 2023 – Yesterday, the Pennsylvania Legislature passed and Governor Shapiro certified the 2023-24 budget—the contents of which communicate to all Pennsylvanians that their health is a priority. To mark this important step, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) responded with the following statement from Pennsylvania Government Relations Director Donna Greco:
“We at ACS CAN applaud the passage of the state budget, that includes important cancer prevention and treatment priorities for Pennsylvanians. With the state’s decision to fund a critical cancer screening program, the fight against cancer can continue to save countless lives, including some of the 88,450 Pennsylvanians who are expected to be diagnosed with cancer in 2023.
“As Pennsylvania continues to climb out of the pandemic-driven backlog in cancer screenings, the $2.563 million funding allocation for the Pennsylvania Breast & Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (PA BCCEDP) will go a long way toward lowering cancer incidence and mortality rates, especially for under- and uninsured Pennsylvanians. From 2016-2020, over 31,000 PA women were served by the program. Over 360 breast cancers and 779 cervical cancers or precancerous lesions have been detected by the program. Screenings save lives. The PA BCCEDP saves lives. ACS CAN is glad to see the budget reflect that.
“ACS CAN hopes that state leaders don’t stop there and prioritize funding for tobacco prevention and cessation in the Fiscal Code bill. Pennsylvania’s tobacco prevention and cessation programs equip people with the tools to stop using tobacco—or never start using it in the first place. With adequate funding, these fact-based programs will help to dismantle the systemic disparities perpetuated by the tobacco industry. As Big Tobacco has been working hard to addict future generations with e-cigarettes and other tobacco products, the need for funding for tobacco prevention programs has never been greater. By allocating $16.624 million toward tobacco control in the Fiscal Code, we can continue to chip away at the impact of tobacco on Pennsylvanians’ health.
“ACS CAN will continue to advocate for policies that build on the progress of the 2023-24 state budget. In doing so, we hope to further limit the impact of tobacco on Pennsylvanians and end all suffering and death from cancer.”
About ACS CAN
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) advocates for evidence-based public policies to reduce the cancer burden for everyone. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state, and local levels. By engaging advocates across the country to make their voices heard, ACS CAN influences legislative and regulatory solutions that will end cancer as we know it.