President Biden and Congress Reject Work Requirements in Debt Deal; Caps Should Not Lead to Cancer Research Cuts

Statement from American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) President Lisa A. Lacasse

May 29, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. – May 29, 2023 – President Joe Biden and U.S. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced a deal Saturday ahead of the looming debt ceiling deadline.  

The following is a statement from ACS CAN President, Lisa A. Lacasse: 

“Families affected by cancer are relieved the President and Congress prioritized the fight against cancer in a proposal to lift the debt ceiling by maintaining access to affordable health insurance by rejecting Medicaid work requirements and ensuring veterans’ health care coverage by protecting funding for the PACT Act. Medicaid work requirements do not increase employment but instead only leaving individuals and families uninsured and; more vulnerable to illness, like cancer, making it more difficult to contribute to their communities.  

"Over the last 50 years, sustained funding for cancer research has allowed us to reach new heights in the fight against cancer by providing continual support necessary to grow research into major discoveries; therefore, we are extremely concerned about budget caps on domestic discretionary spending that could lead to cuts to cancer research – risking our nation's current and future progress in the space. Without sustained funding for cancer research, prevention and early detection we risk reversing progress in our national effort to end cancer as we know it, for everyone. 

“We continue to call on Congress to resist any efforts to implement Medicaid work requirements and prioritize robust cancer research funding at the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute in the FY24 Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations Bill.”