Power. Progress. Prevention. September 28, 2018

Published on September 28, 2018

Power. Progress. Prevention. -- An Advocacy Newsletter | Prevent Cancer Foundation

September 28, 2018

New House spending bill strips critical prevention funding

Congress this week passed an appropriations bill, HR 6157, which secured funding for FY 2019 for the Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. While this bill boosts spending for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), it also shifted $805 million in much-needed resources from the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF) to other, more restricted uses within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Historically, the PPHF has supported critical cancer prevention services and programs, such as vaccinations and screenings for underserved communities. It has also supported important research, which is vital to making future breakthroughs in cancer prevention and treatment. 

We must support the PPHF for advances in health research and prevention efforts across the country. While the outcome for the PPHF is not ideal, the Prevent Cancer Foundation® will continue to push for increased resources for cancer prevention and early detection.

Trump administration transferring more than $13 million from cancer research and other programs to fund migrant children detention

Last week, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar announced plans to shift up to $266 million in funding from other HHS resources and refugee programs to support the care of migrant children being held in detention facilities. This reallocation includes more than $13 million from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and millions from other programs within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which support research for cancer prevention and early detection.

Taking funds from major research institutes like NCI will limit breakthroughs that can save lives.

More than 1.7 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer in 2018 alone. The Prevent Cancer Foundation® urges HHS to preserve and protect funding for cancer prevention and early detection research.

To learn more about the funding transfers, read Secretary Azar’s letter.

Virginia unveils new plans for Medicaid work requirements

After five years of uncertainty, Virginia passed Medicaid expansion in May of this year, providing coverage to an additional 400,000 people. Starting in January, Medicaid will be available to Virginians who make less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

To prepare for rollout, Virginia’s Department of Medical Assistance Services (DMAS) submitted an 1115 waiver application to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to include work eligibility requirements for beneficiaries. Under these requirements, enrollees will need to report:

  • 20 hours of work per month 3 months after enrollment 
  • 40 hours of work per month 6 months after enrollment
  • 60 hours of work per month 9 months after enrollment
  • 80 hours of work per month 12 months after enrollment

CMS will suspend coverage of those who don’t meet these work requirements for three months within the year. Some do not have to meet these work requirements, including children under age 19, college students, seniors over age 65, and those dually enrolled in both Medicaid and Medicare.

More than 60 percent of Medicaid enrollees who are able to work are already working. Adding work eligibility requirements for enrollment will create additional barriers for compliance and put people at risk of losing coverage. The demands of these requirements may also deter families from signing up for coverage in the first place, meaning some people may not have access to critical preventive services and cancer screenings.

Public comment for these requirements is open until October 20. Help protect Virginians’ access to care by saying no to work requirements—submit your comments here!

AACR’s 2018 Progress Report highlights latest in prevention

The American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) released its annual Cancer Progress Report on September 12. The report highlights the latest advances in cancer prevention, detection, diagnoses and treatment from federally-funded research efforts.

Key insights on prevention from the 2018 report include:

  • Four out of 10 cancer cases in the U.S. and almost half of all cancer deaths are associated with preventable risk factors
  • Almost 20 percent of cancer diagnoses in the U.S. are related to excess body weight, alcohol intake, poor diet and physical inactivity
  • HPV vaccination could prevent nearly all cases of cervical cancer, but most teens have not received the recommended doses

We commend AACR for providing the latest information on cancer research to help advocates better understand how to Stop Cancer Before It Starts!®

Review the full report to learn more.

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