National Brain Tumor Society – Public Policy and Advocacy Update
Vol. 2 No. 8
August 13, 2012
- NIH Funding Flat in House-Senate Temporary and Tentative Budget Agreement
- Oral Chemotherapy Bill Co-Sponsors Increase to 48 in U.S. House
- Brain Tumor Advocates Meet with Members of Congress Back Home
- Advocate of the Month
NIH Funding Flat in House-Senate Temporary and Tentative Budget Agreement
During the first week in August U.S. House and Senate leaders reached an agreement to fund the federal government through March of next year. Although the specific budget bill has to be passed when Congress comes back from recess in September, both sides agreed to use the spending level set by the deficit reduction law last year that essentially flat funded the National Institutes of Health including the National Cancer Institute the largest funders of brain tumor research in the country. This fall other than campaigning for re-election – Congress will be focusing on trying to reach a larger more long term deficit reduction plan to avoid across the board deep spending cuts to most federal programs including cancer research and defense.
If you have not yet contacted your Members of Congress to urge them to make NIH funding a priority – please do so at www.braintumor.org/advocacy and please ask others to do the same.
Oral Chemotherapy Bill Co-Sponsors Increase to 48 in U.S. House
We are pleased to let you know that the number of Members of the U.S. House that have signed on in support of the Cancer Drug Coverage Parity Act has increased from about 18 in May to 48 in August. As you know brain tumor advocates urged their elected officials to support the bill in May as part of the Head to the Hill advocacy day. NBTS continues to work with the Patients Equal Access Coalition that includes International Myeloma Foundation, Leukemia Lymphoma Society, Susan G Komen for the Cure, and others to advocate for affordability of oral chemotherapy medicines, such as Temodar.
Brain Tumor Advocates Meet with Members of Congress Back Home
As we mentioned in our last update, Members of Congress return home during the month of August, presenting an opportune time for constituents to set up meetings in their district offices to discuss priority issues. Brain tumor advocates across the country are taking advantage, setting up meetings to tell their stories and raise awareness in Congress of the policy issues that can help make a difference in the lives of brain tumor patients.
A special thanks to advocates in Arizona, California, and Tennessee for ensuring that their Members of Congress heard from the brain tumor community this August. They organized powerful groups of fellow local advocates, doctors, medical providers, and researchers to ask for support on two key issues – funding for brain tumor research and access to oral chemotherapy. There’s still time to meet with your Members of Congress this month. Please contact Jennifer Lemmerman at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details and tools to help you plan a successful meeting.
Advocate of the Month: Liz Salmi
This month, we honor Sacramento resident and commander in chief of the Liz Army, Liz Salmi. A blogging maven and inspirational leader to the brain tumor community, Liz has worked tirelessly to raise awareness among patients and survivors, and has partnered with us to educate Members of Congress on critical issues such as the need for research funding and access to essential health care services. As a brain tumor survivor she has graciously shared her journey with thousands, and continues to be a friend, support system, and voice of this community. So, this month we salute Liz Salmi as our advocate of the month – thank you Liz for all that you are, and what you are doing for this community.