SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The American Cancer Society – Cancer Action Network is celebrating its accomplishments of 2019 and preparing for 2020.
Tim Freeman, Missouri grassroots manager for ACS CAN, says one of the pieces of legislation the organization hopes to pick back up next year is PCHETA, Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act.
It’s bipartisan legislation to expand federal research for palliative care services, which provides patients with serious or chronic illnesses support through specialized professionals. This would be training for doctors and nurses and create more education and awareness about these services.
It passed the House and went to the Senate but it doesn’t look like it will pass there.
“We have run into a bit of a roadblock in the Senate and it looks like they won’t get it passed in that chamber this year and will have to bring it back up early next year,” Freeman said. “We’re still proud of the passage in the House.”
The budget bill, however, is likely to pass and Freeman says there are things to celebrate about that including increased federal funding for cancer research at the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute
Specifically, Congress is poised to pass a funding bill this week that includes a $2.6 billion increase for medical research at the NIH. The measure, agreed upon by both House and Senate Conference Committee members, also provides a $296 million increase for the NCI.
Freeman said ACS CAN has worked directly with Senator Roy Blunt, who is the chairman of the Senate Subcommittee that appropriated these increases.
He says none of the funding would have been achieved through legislation if it wasn’t for the stories of survivors and how cancer and cancer research has impacted their lives.