Power. Progress. Prevention. February 1, 2019

Published on February 1, 2019

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

February 1, 2019

Government reopened through February 15 with temporary measure

Last Friday, President Trump signed a bill to reopen the government for three weeks. The temporary stopgap will provide funding to the agencies that were shut down for 35 days, the longest government shutdown in history.

The measure will fund the government through February 15, giving lawmakers a short window of time to come to an agreement on border security. President Trump and Congressional Democrats have been at odds on how to address border security, with the president demanding more than $5 billion in funding for a wall along the southern border and Democrats refusing to fund a measure they say is ineffective and immoral. 

If no compromise is made by February 15, the president has warned he will close down the government again—putting more than 800,000 federal workers at risk once more. It’s estimated that this shutdown cost the country more than $3 billion, which won’t be recovered – in addition to disruptions in care for millions of Americans through reduced funding for the Indian Health Service (IHS) and other supporting agencies.

We strongly urge Congress to find a solution that will keep the government open and prevent any negative impacts of a potential shutdown on the health care system.

President Trump makes moves against surprise medical billing

Last week, President Trump said he will take action to stop surprise medical bills that overwhelm many Americans who rely on their health insurance to cover the bulk of health-related expenses. Talking to patients during a roundtable event, he said, “The pricing is hurting patients and we’ve stopped a lot of it, but we’re going to stop all of it. It’s very important to me.”

Currently, there are multiple competing bills aimed at addressing this issue from Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Tx.). Congress will need to reconcile these bills to determine the best way forward, but the president’s declarations should help build momentum on the issue.

The Prevent Cancer Foundation® strongly supports legislation that will protect Americans from surprise medical bills. We will continue to monitor relevant legislation and provide updates as they happen.

FDA approval of at-home colorectal cancer genetic test may have unintended consequences for cancer prevention

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new genetic test from the company 23andMe Inc., which will provide direct-to-consumer testing to screen for risk of colorectal cancer. The test evaluates DNA, looking for two genetic changes that indicate the hereditary condition MUTYH-associated polyposis, which is associated with a higher risk of colon cancer. The Prevent Cancer Foundation® advises anyone considering this form of genetic testing to consult with a health care professional to review options and understand the results.

“This genetic test for colorectal cancer is extremely limited, and has the potential to mislead people with negative results into believing they do not need recommended cancer screenings,” said Carolyn Aldigé, Founder and CEO of Prevent Cancer Foundation®. “With screening, we can actually prevent colorectal cancer by detecting and removing polyps before they become cancer, or we can detect cancer early, which saves lives.  Everyone needs to be vigilant about getting screened and leading a healthy lifestyle to prevent cancer.”

Read our full statement.  

Register for the 2019 Advocacy Workshop!

There’s still time to register for the 2019 Prevent Cancer Advocacy Workshop on April 24, 2019! Network with your peers in cancer prevention and early detection as you learn about important advocacy and policy topics.

This year’s keynote speaker is Sharon Eubanks, tobacco control specialist and Lead Counsel in the landmark United States vs. Phillip Morris USA et al. case and the winner of the 2018 James L. Mulshine Leadership Award. Read more about her groundbreaking work.

Registration is free—sign up today


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