Washington, DC – Fight Colorectal Cancer hosts their 6th Annual Call-on Congress beginning today, in Washington, DC.
More than 60 advocates, including colorectal cancer survivors, caregivers, physicians and researchers, are gathering in the nation’s capital this week to hear from experts about current research and cancer control programs and to take part in advocacy activities on Capitol Hill.
“Our volunteers are activists who are bringing the fight against colorectal cancer to Washington to get more attention and more funding for this disease,” said Fight Colorectal Cancer President Carlea Bauman. “By speaking up and demanding change, they are making a difference in the fight against colorectal cancer.”
Tomorrow, advocates will receive training on how to have effective meetings with their legislators. On Wednesday, March 7th, the advocates will participate in more than 80 meetings in Congress to ask for support for the following pieces of legislation:
- Medicare Cost Sharing for Screening Colonoscopy. This legislation will amend current law to waive coinsurance for colorectal cancer screening colonoscopy by correcting the coinsurance gap that exists under current Medicare policy. Although colorectal cancer screening is covered by Medicare, beneficiaries may still be liable for coinsurance if a polyp is detected and removed, because the screening can be reclassified as a diagnostic procedure.
Fight Colorectal Cancer asks Congress to support legislation that waives coinsurance for screening colonoscopy that also involves removal of polyps during the same encounter.
- Funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Colorectal Cancer Control Program. Currently the program provides funding to 25 states and four tribal organizations for colorectal cancer screening targeted at low-income men and women, aged 50-64,who are uninsured or underinsured. The CDC has set a goal in 2012 of screening 66 percent of adults aged 50-75 and a long-term screening goal of 88 percent by the year 2020. Reaching these goals requires a commitment from Congress.
Fight Colorectal Cancer asks Congress to fund the Colorectal Cancer Control program at $70 million in the next fiscal year, which will allow the program to be expanded nationally.
- Funding for Colorectal Cancer Research. Advocates will ask members of Congress to demonstrate their commitment to colorectal cancer research by taking two important actions:
Support an increase in funding to the Department of Defense’s Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP). Funding for the PRCRP was cut 29 percent last year.
Fight Colorectal Cancer asks Congress to provide $16 million in FY 2013 for the PRCRP to restore funding to FY 2011 levels.
Support increased funding for the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The NCI is one of 27 institutes at the National Institutes of Health and leads a national effort to eliminate the suffering and death from cancer.
Fight Colorectal Cancer asks Congress to fund the NIH at $32.7 billion in FY2013, which will provide NCI with $5.36 billion in funding.