I am glad to have the opportunity to speak today on the importance of combatting cancer. Like many Americans, my family has lost members because of this horrible disease.

The American Cancer Society estimated over 1.6 million new cancer cases diagnosed last year, accounting for over 585 thousand deaths in the US making caner the second most common cause of death in the US.

That’s nearly one out of every 4 deaths is due to cancer- that’s a staggering number.

What’s worse is, many cancers are triggered by lifestyle choices ranging from poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking and tanning. 

Congress needs to work with the medical community to focus on efforts to improve lifestyles in order to prevent exposure to factors that lead to most common cancers through education and better screening.

In March I will be reintroducing my Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act.

This bill had 157 cosponsors when I introduced it in the last Congress.

If enacted, it will correct the inconsistency in cost-sharing policy by making sure that Medicare patients will not be required to pay coinsurance when their colorectal screening colonoscopy includes polyp removal during the screening procedure.

This measure provides equity with private sector policies current in place and it promotes screening for colorectal cancer amongst Medicare recipients.

As a new member on the Labor, Health and Human, Education Appropriations subcommittee, I look forward to the opportunity to look for ways to combat cancer and promote education and research.  In fact, I recently met with the Director of NIH and took a tour of their campus

I will continue my work to promote cancer’s eradication through legislation and my efforts as a member of the Cancer Caucus.

Thank you.


Public Health Funding in FY’15 Omnibus

National Institute for Health (NIH)

Includes $30.1 billion for the NIH

Funding is $150 million above fiscal year 2014 level

Specifically funds the National Cancer Institute (NCI) at $4.95 billion, this is a $27 million increase of FY’14 enacted levels

Continues basic bio-medical research and translational research through programs like the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) and Institutional Development Award (IDeA) to help scientists discover cures

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Includes $6.925 billion in discretionary appropriations for the CDC

Represents a $43 million increase over FY’14 enacted levels

Includes $104 million in funds be set aside for cancer prevention and control

Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

Receives a total almost $2.6 billion in discretionary funding in the bill

Represents an increase of $37 million above the FY’14 enacted levels

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

Provides $363 million for AHRQ