To guide our public policy advocacy efforts each year, the National Brain Tumor Society creates an annual “Legislative Agenda.”
Our yearly Legislative Agenda* reflects the larger strategy and goals of the Organization, complements our research-funding efforts, and is essential to accomplishing our mission of better treatments and ultimately cures for brain tumors.
Each year, we review and revise our Legislative Agenda, as necessary, based on the most pressing needs of the brain tumor community, as well as the current climate in Washington, D.C., as well as within the brain tumor treatment, research and development landscape.
This year’s agenda will look familiar to many of those who’ve been engaged with us as volunteer advocates in recent years. Reason being, 2017 marked the inauguration of a new Congress (which means all un-passed bills from the previous Congress need to be re-introduced) and a new Administration in the White House (which means we need to begin a new process of educating the Administration on brain tumor-related public policy issues). All the while, Congress has continued to demonstrate a bipartisan commitment to support of biomedical research funding. Thus, there is still challenges and opportunities to engage with policymakers on the issues and bills which we were working on during the 114th Congress. At the same time, there are still opportunities to increase medical research funding and challenges related to the uncertainty of national healthcare reform.
Thus, after thorough internal discussion, analysis, and planning, as well as receiving valuable input from many across the brain tumor and cancer community, we are pleased to have finalized our 2018 Legislative Agenda.
This year, we’re urging Congress to use the remainder of the 115th Congress to continue working aggressively to develop and advance patient-focused policy that provides robust funding for medical research as well as programs aimed at accelerating drug discovery and development in order to improve and/or save the lives of many Americans, including the nearly 700,000 living with a brain tumor.
Specifically, we’re requesting Congress continue its robust funding of medical research in Fiscal Year (FY) 2019, as it just did for FY18. We’re also urging the U.S. House of Representatives to help get the Childhood Cancer Star Act across the finish line (it has already passed the Senate in March 2018), as well as the Cancer Drug Coverage Parity Act, which has lots of support but needs to be advanced through the congressional process. Finally, we’re asking that members of Congress keep the unique needs of brain tumor patients in mind in any future/ongoing discussions related to national healthcare policy and reform.
One of the best opportunities to help us advocate for these critical policies is to join us at our annual advocacy day, Head to the Hill, taking place this year on May 7-8. This year is especially critical as the even is happening with both the Senate and House of Representatives are in session. Registration is closing soon, so please consider registering today to participate in Head to the Hill 2018. Additionally, to sign-up to be a brain tumor advocate and take action visit here.
*Note: This is a living document and may change during the year based on the evolving climate in the Capitol, as well as new legislative opportunities that may arise. We will keep you updated throughout the legislative process. Additionally, our Legislative Agenda also does not reflect the breadth of work we do in public policy to improve and advance regulation or other executive branch policy matters.