By Elridge Proctor, Director of Health Policy
Last year, we experienced the powerful role advocacy has played in achieving historical outcomes for lung cancer patients. The same holds true in 2017 for continued hope, promise and opportunity.
With the start of the 115th Congress and a new administration, our voices must be heard within the first 100 days to make the changes we seek and achieve outcomes that will deepen the legacy of “first-evers” in the fight to end lung cancer.
Last year, LCA introduced the Women and Lung Cancer Research and Preventive Services Act of 2016, which required a study and a corresponding plan that would provide better research, detection and treatment strategies for those women impacted by lung cancer.
The first ever Bipartisan Congressional Caucus on Lung Cancer grew and even more Members of Congress and their staff were educated on the impact of the disease and ways to improve your lives.
We remained a strong supporter of increased funding levels for cancer research in the annual appropriations for the National Institute of Health (NIH), National Cancer Institute (NCI) and secured $12 million dollars for lung cancer within Department of Defense bringing the total to over $100 million dollars!
We are proud of what we’ve done – yet there is so much history yet to be made. That’s why we need you to share your voice these “First 100 Days” to improve not only your life, but also the lives of others in 2017.
Included in our “100 Days” Action Plan are the following:
- Re-establishing the Congressional Lung Cancer Caucus
- Continue our Congressional Lung Cancer Caucus briefing series
- Acting as the lung cancer voice in discussions on the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
- Engaging in direct advocacy to maintain the patient protections for cancer survivors
- Encouraging you to gain seats at the table when direction and input on health policies are needed
- Calling on lawmakers to increase research funding, accelerate treatment approvals and put your needs front and center as health care changes
- Demanding the inclusion of patient perspectives in the formation of any legislative proposals.
We need you to share your thoughts, experiences and personal stories to add value and weight — as decisions are considered regarding government funding for research, access to high quality health care and support services for lung cancer patients and families.
It is critical that your Members of Congress hear from you on the improvements in our health care system you value – so that we can be sure our system is being responsive to our community’s concerns and needs. Please send me your comments and feedback to share as I visit Members of Congress: Eproctor@lungcanceralliance.org.