Federal 2012 Legislative Priorities

Priority #1
Accelerating the End of Breast Cancer Act: On September 20, 2010, the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) launched Breast Cancer Deadline 2020, a call to action for policymakers, researchers, breast cancer advocates and other stakeholders to end the disease by January 1, 2020. The Accelerating the End of Breast Cancer Act, which will provide a strategic approach to address questions NBCC has identified as vital to end the disease; identify barriers that hamper progress; and set forth a mission-oriented, transparent and focused process to help overcome these barriers and meet the goal of Breast Cancer Deadline 2020.

Priority #2
Guaranteed Access to Quality Health Care for All: For many years now, NBCC has made access to quality health care for all a top priority. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act passed last year represents a significant step forward toward this goal and provides many important protections for breast cancer survivors. Repealing or invalidating this law would have many direct consequences for breast cancer survivors.

Priority #3
$150 million dollars for the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP) for FY 2012: As a result of NBCC’s grassroots advocacy, the DOD BCRP was created in 1992 to “eradicate breast cancer by funding innovative, high-impact research through a partnership of scientists and consumers.” NBCC seek a continued level of funding for this successful program.

Priority #4
Preservation of the Medicaid Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Act: Congress enacted the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Act in 2000 after years of NBCC grassroots lobbying and influence. NBCC remains committed to ensuring all women and men screened and diagnosed with breast cancer through federal screening programs have access to the treatment they need.

Priority #5
Ensuring the Participation of Educated Patient Advocates in all Levels of Health Care Decision Making: NBCC continues to work to ensure that educated patient advocates have a “seat at the table” in all levels of health care decision making that affects their lives.

For decades, we’ve been fighting breast cancer with hope. For decades, the lives of our daughters, mothers and friends have been in the hands of hope. It isn’t working. In 1991 the number of American women that died of breast cancer every day was 119. Today it’s about the same – 110 deaths. Every single day. Twenty years. No significant progress. In 1975, a woman had a 1 in 11 chance of developing invasive breast cancer in her lifetime. Now, that risk is 1 in 8 – nearly 50% greater; yes greater. Plainly, we need something more powerful than hope.

We didn’t hope our way to the moon. If all we ventured was hope, we’d still be on the ground. We got to the moon because we set a deadline for getting there. We have never had a deadline for the end of breast cancer. It’s not that we tried and it failed. We’ve never tried. We have never had one. Never. No date. No goal. No rush. Nothing to hold ourselves accountable to. No one on the hook. No reputations at stake. Is it any wonder we haven’t ended it? How can we possibly achieve a goal if we don’t have one? Consoled by hope, we keep giving breast cancer more time.

No more.

Today we give up hope. It’s the most optimistic step ever taken in the history of the breast cancer battle. Today we set a goal. Today we set a deadline. January 1, 2020. The end of breast cancer. Hope is a wish. The deadline is a commitment. Hope says whenever. The deadline says within ten years. What if we fail? We already have. What about pink? It’s time to show our true colors. Ten years is too short? We ended polio in seven. A deadline changes everything. No experiment, no charity, no lab, no doubt, no promise, no critic, no iota of research can occur outside of its context. Today the conversation changes. 2020. The end of breast cancer. This is serious. This is real. Are you with us? Go to www.breastcancerdeadline2020.org and vote yes.

The National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund website (www.knowbreastcancer.org) provides a world of information for breast cancer survivors and advocates. Visit the website to learn the facts and know the evidence.