On June 2, Congress passed, and the President immediately signed, a bill to raise the debt ceiling and prevent our nation from defaulting on its financial obligations. This avoided a self-inflected financial disaster that could have rivaled the stock market crash of 1929 and The Great Depression.
In terms of health care and research, there were several positive outcomes in the negotiated bill. It protects access to quality, affordable health insurance for the millions of Americans covered by Medicaid. It also avoids the draconian cuts of roughly 9% to agencies like NIH and the CDC, as was part of the debt ceiling bill first passed by the House.
Under the debt ceiling bill, Congress and the Biden administration agreed to flat funding for non-defense discretionary spending in 2024 and only a 1% increase in 2025. However, while the size of the budget pie is now set, the size of the slice of the pie that each agency and program will get is yet to be determined. That is why lawmakers must hear from their constituents regarding the importance of cancer research and prevention programs.
Our nation’s investment in cancer research and prevention is saving lives. Cancer mortality rates have declined by 33% since 1990, and the Biden administration’s Cancer Moonshot has a goal of 50%. Thanks to improved screening initiatives, the incidence of colorectal cancer has declined steadily, between one and four percent, every single year.
In the months ahead, the goal for the Colorectal Cancer Alliance is for Congress to keep cancer patients at the forefront as they begin the challenging work of allocating funding to agencies like NIH and the CDC. But to achieve this, we need your help. It’s easy to cut budgets when it’s only numbers on a spreadsheet. It is very different when lawmakers understand how these numbers impact people’s health and their very lives. They need to hear your story: why you believe cancer research and prevention is vital.
Please take a moment right now and send an email to your representative. It’s best if you share your story, but feel free to use the example below. To find the email address of your representative, visit House.gov.
I am writing to ask for your support in avoiding cuts to cancer research and prevention programs in the 2024 budget and that they receive an increase. I realize 2024 spending is capped at 2023 levels, but I also know that not all Federal programs should be given the same importance. Cancer research through NIH and prevention programs at CDC have proven very successful in reducing cancer incidence and mortality. I hope you share my strong belief that beating cancer should be a priority.
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