In the United States, there are nearly 700,000 living with a primary brain and central nervous system tumor. The American Brain Tumor Association is committed to funding brain tumor research, providing education and giving a voice to the brain tumor community.
The American Brain Tumor Association’s advocacy efforts aim to expand federal research funding for brain cancer, and improve policies, programs and services for more than 700,000 people impacted by this devastating disease. With your partnership, the ABTA can bring important issues to light at a local, state and national level.
- Supporting coverage for pre-exsisting conditions: in February, 2017 the ABTA signed on to a letter to Congress stressing the importance of protecting access to comprehensive and affordable coverage for patients with pre-existing health conditions.
In May 2016, the Senate and House Committees on Appropriations approved legislation that provides for the inclusion of “brain cancer” among the disorders eligible for study by the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP). This provision was included in the fiscal year 2017 Defense Appropriations Act.
How you can get involved
Through an online advocacy platform called PopVox.com, you can directly contact your Representative and two Senators in support of several of the initiatives described under “Key Issues.” For each of these, click the GREEN button on the page that says “Support This Bill”:
- Support Funding Critical Brain Cancer Research:
Representative Mike Quigley (D-IL) is circulating a Dear Colleague letter in the U.S. House of Representatives. The letter asks his colleagues to join him in signing a letter to the House Appropriations Committee in support of including “brain cancer” among the conditions eligible for funding from the Department of Defense’s “Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program.”
Contact your U.S. House of Representatives member to ask them to sign a letter.
To find out who represents you in Congress, please visit www.house.gov and enter your zip code under the field “Find Your Representative, Enter Your Zip Code” at the top right of the page. Once you have identified your Representative, call their office to obtain the appropriate email address of the person on their staff who handles health care issues. Send them an email and ask them to sign onto the Quigley brain cancer research letter. In your message, make sure you tell your personal connection to brain tumors or brain cancer, and leave your mailing address to demonstrate that you are a constituent.
The deadline to send the letter is April 4, 2017.
- Childhood Cancer STAR Act:
Childhood Cancer “STAR” Act reintroduced in Congress
Ask you Members of Congress to cosponsor!
In a new effort to accelerate cures for pediatric cancer and improve the quality of life of survivors, the Childhood Cancer Survivorship, Treatment, Access, and Research (STAR) Act has been reintroduced in the House and Senate. The House bill (H.R. 820) was introduced on February 2 by Representative Mike McCaul (R-TX), and the Senate companion (S. 292) was introduced on February 2 by Senator Jack Reed (D-RI). Last year, the Childhood Cancer STAR Act was approved in December by the House, but the 114th Congress adjourned before the bill could be cleared by the Senate.
Specifically, H.R. 820 and S. 292 would:
- Authorize the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to expand existing efforts to collect biospecimens for childhood cancer patients enrolled in NCI-sponsored clinical trials to collect and maintain relevant clinical, biological, and demographic information on all children, adolescents, and young adults with cancer;
- Enhance research on the late effects of childhood cancers;
- Improve collaboration among providers so that doctors are better able to care for this population as they age;
- Establish a new pilot program to begin to explore innovative models of care for childhood cancer survivors.
Both bills received broad bipartisan support in Congress, thanks in large part to the efforts of grassroots advocates who contacted their elected officials. H.R. 820 is cosponsored by 41 Republican and Democratic members of the House. S. 292 is cosponsored by 3 members of the Senate.
Contact your two Senators and Representative and urge them to cosponsor the Childhood Cancer STAR Act. You can contact your members of Congress through Popvox, an online site that sends your message directly to the staff person handling health care issues. To contact your Representative, click onto https://www.popvox.com/us/federal/bills/115/hr820. For your Senators, click onto https://www.popvox.com/us/federal/bills/115/s292 . Both pages will also list the names of the legislators who have already agreed to cosponsor. You may also contact your Congressmen directly through www.house.gov and www.senate.gov.
House: H.R. 820 Senate: S. 292
If you are interested in getting involved in ABTA advocacy efforts, please complete this form (form fields below).