Legislative Goals


Download a full description of our legislative goals.

jovannie-advocateLegislative Priorities

Legislative priorities are issues directly related to colorectal cancer and have a major impact on research, screening, and/or treatment. They have corresponding pieces of legislation and have the potential of becoming laws.

Eliminating Cost-Sharing for Colorectal Cancer Screening

You might know that if Medicare patients go in for a screening colonoscopy (no symptoms, just a preventative screening), it is 100% covered by Medicare. But you might not know that if polyps are removed during this colonoscopy (a routine procedure called a polypectomy), the screening colonoscopy becomes a diagnostic colonoscopy, resulting in unexpected out-of-pocket expenses. You see, when a screening colonoscopy becomes a diagnostic colonoscopy, the Medicare beneficiary becomes responsible for a significant co-pay. This is costing about 50% of Medicare beneficiaries hundreds of dollars that they have no way of preparing for since the polyps are removed while they are under anesthesia. This can also be a huge disincentive for seniors to get screened out of the fear they may be hit with this unexpected cost.

So, what are we doing about this?

At Fight Colorectal Cancer, we know that screening is the key to prevention and we must remove these barriers. That’s why we’re working with Congress to pass legislation that will prevent Medicare patients from being responsible for colonoscopy co-pays.

Read our Backgrounder about this issue & sign our current petition!

Oral Chemo Parity

Many chemotherapy options now come in pill form, known as oral chemotherapy. Unfortunately, many insurers treat these pills differently than traditional, intravenous chemotherapy.

So, what are we doing about this?

A bill was introduced in the House during the 113th Congress (H.R. 1801) that would require insurers to treat oral chemotherapy the same as IV chemotherapy. We are hopeful that this bill will be re-introduced during the 114th Congress.

josh-colon-cancer-survivor-advocateISSUES WE SUPPORT

Although these issues have an impact on colorectal cancer research, screening, and/or treatment, they do not have corresponding pieces of legislation. These issues are a part of the annual federal appropriations process and Fight Colorectal Cancer, along with some of our advocacy partners, issue our recommendations each year.

Increased funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Colorectal Cancer Control Program (CRCCP)

The CDC’s CRCCP educates, screens and raises awareness in communities across the United States. Currently, these programs exist in 25 states and four tribal nations. With increased funding, this program could expand to other states and continue to help us prevent future cases of colorectal cancer.

So, what are we doing about this?

For FY 2015, we are asking appropriators to increase funding to $55 million for colorectal cancer prevention programs and continue to oppose consolidation of the cancer control programs.

Read our Backgrounder for more information.

Funding for the Department of Defense (DoD) Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP)

You might be wondering what the DoD has to do with colorectal cancer. Well, colorectal cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer among active duty military personnel. Additionally, service members who are exposed to ionizing radiation in the field are at increased risk of colorectal cancer. This program has supported research into a non-invasive genetic urine test for colorectal cancer, as well as research on genes associated with ionizing radiation sensitivity and resistance.

So what are we doing about this?

For FY 2015, the House approved a funding level of $15 million (same as FY 2014), and colorectal cancer was included as eligible for research funds. We are optimistic that the Senate will approve a $25 million funding level for FY 2015, which was passed in FY 2014 as the final level in the House-Senate conference.

Read our Backgrounder for more information.

Funding for the National Institute of Health (NIH) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI)

We rely on research from the NIH and the NCI (a division of the NIH) for improved screening and treatment options, and, potentially, a cure for colorectal cancer. Without funding, none of these things is achievable. Each year, we push for increased funding for these programs to continue to promote innovation.

So, what are we doing about this?

Fight Colorectal Cancer requested a $32 billion funding level for FY 2015 for the NIH, including $5.26 billion for the NCI.

Read our Backgrounder for more information.

david-kimberly-advocatesISSUES WE ARE MONITORING

  • Insurance Pathways
  • “Right to Try” Laws
  • Quality of Treatment and Care Within the Department of Veterans Affairs
  • House Energy & Commerce 21st Century Cures Initiative
  • Medicare reimbursement for community center cancer treatment