In my years representing Long Islanders, I have been a strong and consistent advocate for increased federal investment in cancer research programs. Specifically, I led efforts for the following programs advocating for funding for the Peer-Reviewed Breast Cancer Research Program, and Prostate Cancer Research Program at the Department of Defense (DOD). I have also led efforts calling for the creation of a Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program for Kidney Cancer research at DOD.
As a founding member of the House NIH Caucus, I am a strong advocate for increased funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), home of the National Cancer Institute. The NCI coordinates the National Cancer Program to conduct and support research, training, health information dissemination and other programs with respect to the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of cancer.
In December, Congress passed the 21st Century Cures Act. This landmark law, of which I was a proud supporter, provides funding to NIH for the “Cancer Moonshot” to speed cancer research. It law will also expedite the discovery, development, and delivery of new treatments and cures for diseases, like cancer, at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Accelerating the End of Breast Cancer: This bill establishes the Commission to Accelerate the End of Breast Cancer, with the goal of ending breast cancer by January 2020. The Commission would be directed to identify opportunities within the government and private sector, recommend projects to leverage pertaining to prevention of breast cancer and metastasis (the spread of cancer), and to ensure activities are coordinated with existing federal programs and laboratories.
Cancer Drug Coverage Parity Act: This legislation would require group and individual health insurance coverage and group health plans to provide the same coverage of oral anticancer drugs as intravenously administered cancer medications.
The Childhood Cancer STAR Act : This legislation would 1) expand opportunities for childhood cancer research at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), 2) improve childhood cancer surveillance by authorizing grant funding to states to create state cancer registries to track incidences of cancers, 3) enhance research on the late effects of childhood cancers, such as secondary cancers and organ damage, 4) ensure patients have access to compassionate use policies, through which patients with serious illnesses can be granted access to therapies still in development; and 5) require the inclusion of at least one pediatric oncologist on the National Cancer Advisory Board.