Thursday, April 9, 2009

Update - Legislative Agenda

Great News! National Breast Cancer Coalition has announced their 2009 Legislative Agenda. For those who will be traveling to Washington DC May 2-5, this is the legislative agenda we will be working with on Capitol Hill.

NBCC consistently develops high quality, forward thinking public policy agendas. We'll discuss the 2009 Agenda during our Conference Call Monday, March 23.
The 2009 agenda is broader in scope as Congress and the White House focus more on our future and place greater emphasis on providing quality health care for all and increasing funding for cancer research. While we often see appeals to pass legislation on specific areas of breast cancer research and treatment, we feel its better to take a systemic approach to advancing research and improving health care for breast cancer patients.

I'm pleased to see the Breast Cancer & Environmental Research Act included on the agenda. All of you worked incredibly hard during the last several years to gain passage of this important bill, only to see it significantly weakened and damaged prior to passage last fall.

Preservation of the Breast & Cervical Cancer Treatment Program is another important priority. While NBCC's number one legislative priority is guaranteed access to quality health care for all, there remains some uncertainty about whether the various strategies for health care reform being considered at the federal level will accomplish full, affordable coverage for all in the near term. Cancer care is expensive and cancer patients are often last on the list of groups that legislators want to cover. Its vital to continue supporting BCCTP until a plan is in place that covers everyone.

Guaranteed Access to Health Care For All remains the number one priority. NBCC was one of the first health advocacy groups to adopt this agenda and define core principles and values to help shape strategies for accomplishing this goal. You can read more about NBCC's Framework here.

There are many other details to learn and discuss related to this agenda. NBCC is working on Capitol Hill to ensure breast cancer advocates are part of the decision-making process. More details will be available soon.

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