What if we could put an end to breast cancer by 2020? What would that take: an act of Congress? Well, there is such a strategy being proposed.
S.3237: Accelerating the End of Breast Cancer Act of 2012 was proposed "To provide for the establishment of a Commission." This Commission would be established by the President and would be directed to seek out opportunities and ideas from people in government and business - ideas that haven't been tried yet, but are lacking manpower and money. The commission would look through these ideas and pick out those which look promising for breast cancer prevention, and for determining the causes of metastasis. The members of the commission have to make sure that the projects they choose don't duplicate current research and clinical trials in progress. This Act would terminate on June 1, 2020, with a written report given to the President and the Institute of Medicine for evaluation.
U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse is soon to hold a roundtable discussion with some breast cancer survivors and policy advocates for the purpose of considering what federal legislation might help the process of getting the Act passed. Currently, the site govtrack.us gives this Act a whopping 2% chance of making it pass the House of Representatives. It's not looking so healthy for this Act. It was first lofted in 2011 by Rep. Karen Bass and passed along to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Then it was proposed again in 2012 by Senator Whitehouse and sent on to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions.
This Act has gotten support from members of the House and Senate, and is listed as Priority #1 by the group The Breast Cancer Deadline. They started their efforts to end breast cancer in 2010, and have a little over seven years to go. Given all that's going on with the Affordable Care Act, I'm not sure how quickly this one will pass, and if it will have time to make that deadline. But any progress is welcome. Too many women and men are suffering and dying from this disease, and if it can be conquered, then let's end it!
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