Fight CRC works with our advocacy partners and our Congressional Committee to develop our legislative goals. We monitor all federal legislative initiatives that impact colorectal cancer and determine the most effective way to engage.
Sometimes support means we sign on or draft a letter of support. Sometimes we make a public comment. Sometimes we rely on our advocacy partners. Other times we engage our advocates through an Action Alert or ask advocates to voice their opinions and get involved.Read a Summary of the Priorities
Issue 1: Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screenings
Ask: Co-sponsor the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act, HR 1570/S668.
Medicare covers screening colonoscopies at 100%, but if polyps are removed during the screening procedure, beneficiaries become responsible for paying coinsurance of roughly 20% (upwards of $300). This additional and unexpected cost is a major deterrent to screening seniors, the population at highest risk for CRC.
According to a recent analysis, closing the loophole with this bill would save Medicare $525 million over 10 years and prevent upwards of 2,000 colorectal cancer cases due to proper and timely screening.
In the 115th Congress, the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act had 305 House and 61 Senate cosponsors. In this Congress, there are over 100 new Members of Congress in the House and Senate, and our goal is to get 80% of them to cosponsor the bill.
Ask: Appropriate $70 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Colorectal Cancer Control Program (CRCCP) to provide all 50 states with the necessary funding to increase colorectal cancer screening rates.
The program works with state health departments, universities, and American Indian tribes to implement evidence-based interventions including education, screening, and follow-up services.
The CRCCP has worked with over 500 clinics across the US to serve over one million patients, increasing screening rates by an average of 8.3 percentage points in just 2 years, saving lives and money.
Increasing funding would enable more states and underserved communities to offer screening programs to our country’s most vulnerable populations, and as a result, increase nationwide screening rates.Download Issue Brief
Issue 2: Investing in Colorectal Cancer Research
Ask: Increase funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to $41 billion, an increase of $2 billion above FY19. Increase funding for the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to $6.5 billion for FY 2020.
NIH and NCI need an increased and predictable federal investment to continue to make progress in the development of new treatments and cures for cancer and other diseases. We are grateful for the increases in funding the NIH has received over the past two years, but that commitment must continue. Additionally, it is important that the commitment to colorectal cancer remains strong.
Despite colorectal cancer being the second leading cause of death for men and women combined, colorectal cancer research funding at NCI is going down.
Ask: Support report language in the FY 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services appropriations bill to urge the NCI to research why the incidence rate of colorectal cancer is increasing in the early onset population.
Early-age onset colorectal cancer rates (under 55 years of age) have been rising significantly in the last few decades and we don’t know why.
This report language directs NCI to focus resources on research in this area to expand our knowledge of colorectal cancer and help advance the development of improved screening modalities and treatment.
In response to this trend, earlier this year the American Cancer Society lowered the age at which it recommends beginning colorectal screening from 50 to 45.
Ask: Fund the Department of Defense (DoD) Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP) at $60 million for FY 2020. Ensure colorectal cancer research continues to be included as eligible for funding under this program.
The PRCRP funds research for 15 different cancer types, including colorectal cancer and cancer in children, adolescents, and young adults. These grants are focused on militarily-relevant risk factors associated with cancer.
The PRCRP funds high-risk, high-reward science that is not funded by NIH or NCI.
From 2009 to 2016, the PRCRP funded over $19 million in colorectal cancer research. However, eligibility of colorectal cancer to receive research funding under the PRCRP is not guaranteed – Congress must continue to include it each year.Download Issue Brief
Issues We’re Monitoring
To make sure voices of colorectal cancer patients are being heard, we are an active member of several coalitions that address issues we actively monitor.
Currently, these issues include:
- Insurance Pathways
- Changes to Medicare and Medicaid related to access to care
- Oral and Intravenous (IV) Chemotherapy Parity
- Improving the quality of care for cancer patients
- Annual and lifetime coverage caps
- Prevention and screening services
- Protections for pre-existing conditions
- Guaranteed renewability for insurance plans
- Access to clinical trials
- Next Generation Sequencing test coverage
- Young Adult Cancer Survivorship Issues
- Pharmaceutical Pricing