The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) held a press conference on Oct. 31 to announce the responses to a questionnaire sent to District 52 Congressional candidates Republican Brian Bilbray and Democrat Scott Peters asking them to clearly state their commitments to fighting cancer.
The questionnaire was sent to both candidates and addressed cancer research funding, access to affordable health care, protecting seniors with cancer, helping lower and middle-income people fight cancer and cancer prevention.
Director of Field Advocacy for ACS CAN Lynda Barbour said, “We want the candidates to be on record as to what they are going to do to help us fight cancer. So whoever wins, we’re going to be holding them accountable for what they say they are going to do.”
She added the ACS CAN volunteers will monitor the winning candidate to make sure they follow through with what they have now said on record.
Neither Bilbray nor Peters were present at the press conference, and the results are available at cancervotes.org. The questions and the responses of both Bilbray and Peters are as follows.
Decades of progress have cancer researchers on the verge of dramatic breakthroughs, but they may never become a reality for cancer patients if there are continued cuts to medical research funding. If you are elected, what would you do to provide sufficient funding for cancer research?
For my entire Congressional career (1994-2000; 2006-present) I have been an outspoken champion of NIH research and in particular cancer research. In fact, I have worked tirelessly to rally bipartisan support for cancer research and biomedical science. As co-chair of the Congressional Biomedical Research Caucus, I have been a strong advocate for moving clinical research from the bench to the bedside. Recently, I joined with my colleague Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) in urging fellow lawmakers to sign a “Dear Colleague” letter to House appropriators requesting a fiscal year 2013 funding level of at least $32 billion for the NIH. Because of my work on behalf of cancer research, I was presented with The 2012 Cancer Leadership Award by the American Association for Cancer Research.
I strongly support increasing our investment in scientific research, both as we pursue cures to the diseases that plague us and to achieve further technological innovation. Research, in general, is a very important dynamic to the local economy of San Diego and I believe we should be looking for ways to increase that component. We won’t just save lives, but also resources if we place a greater emphasis on the identifying the causes of these diseases which continue to evade us. Having the ability to invest in preventative measures allows us to avoid the need for catastrophic care that too many families find a loved one requiring.
Recent reforms have removed barriers to affordable insurance coverage that many cancer patients and survivors faced in the past. Eliminating annual and lifetime limits and guaranteeing coverage to people with pre-existing conditions are vital to cancer patients and survivors. If elected, how will you protect the health of cancer patients by ensuring that affordable insurance coverage is available to them?