The Colorectal Cancer Alliance applauds the Senate Appropriations Committee on Labor Health and Human Services for advancing legislation that increases spending levels for cancer research and protects funding for cancer screening programs from further cuts. Specifically:
- $47.8 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) including $12.5 million for a new palliative care research program.
- $7.38 billion for the National Cancer Institute (NCI). This includes $216 million for The Cancer Moonshot with an increase of $60 million. There is $1.5 billion for targeted cancer research through the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health.
- $409 million for the cancer screening program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is consistent with the FY 23 level.
Under the terms of the debt ceiling bill passed by Congress in June, non-defense discretionary funding must remain flat in 2024. While the size of the budget for next year is set, how those dollars are to be allocated between the various agencies and programs is still to be determined. The Colorectal Cancer Alliance, the American Cancer Society, and other cancer organizations are advocating that Congress keep cancer patients at the forefront in allocating funding for next year.
“In light of the extreme budget restrictions, we are thrilled that the Senate Appropriations Committee recognizes the importance of cancer research and prevention,” said Michael Sapienza, Chief Executive Officer of the Colorectal Cancer Alliance. “These programs literally save lives and should not be sacrificed as Congress seeks to tighten Federal spending.”
Gaining support in the Senate is only half the challenge. We also need at least the same level of commitment in the House of Representatives, and this is likely to be far more difficult to achieve.
The Colorectal Cancer Alliance will aggressively advocate for funding, but we need your help to generate support in the House. For lawmakers, it's easy to slash budgets when it's just numbers on a spreadsheet. However, if people make it real by telling their personal story – saying why research is important – why we need new and improved treatments, lawmakers will listen. Personal stories make all the difference.
You can make that difference, and it won’t take more than five minutes. Just send an email to your representative. It’s best if you tell your personal story, why colorectal cancer research and prevention is important to you; or feel free just to use the sample below. You can find the address for your representative at www.house.gov.
I am writing to ask for your support for cancer research and prevention programs in the 2024 budget. At a minimum, the House should mirror the funding levels approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee, but ideally, the House should demonstrate a greater commitment to health by increasing the level of support. Cancer research through NIH and prevention programs at CDC have proven successful in reducing cancer deaths. I hope you share my strong belief that beating cancer must be a priority.
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