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    Proposed budget would cut PCa programs

    Congress restores funding following lobbying effort

    Bob GattyBob GattyWashingtonCongress doesn’t appear to like very much President Obama’s FY 2016 budget proposal to eliminate funding for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) activities that are focused on education about prostate cancer screening and treatment, as well as tracking disease incidence and mortality data. 

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    Both the House and Senate appropriations committees in late June restored $13.2 million that the administration’s budget plan sought to eliminate, and the prospects for that funding to remain in the ultimate budget appear to be bright. 

    In other developments, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released a plan to cut hospital and ambulatory surgical center (ASC) outpatient payment rates, and a bill was introduced that would allow doctors to use electronic health records at ASCs without losing incentive payments.

    The summary of the President’s budget plan explained the proposed elimination of prostate cancer funding as follows:

    “The FY 2016 budget request eliminates funding for prostate cancer activities. While the evidence on prostate cancer screening remains unclear, CDC has conducted extensive research on and developed materials to help doctors and other health providers better communicate with their patients about informed decision making related to prostate cancer screening and treatment. The proposed elimination will not impact CDC’s ability to collect data on national prostate cancer incidence through the National Program of Cancer Registries, nor hinder the ability to share resources and lessons learned.”

    That action by the administration resulted in prostate cancer interest groups organizing a concerted campaign on Capitol Hill to convince lawmakers to restore those funds. They aligned themselves with organizations advocating for funding for the national breast and cervical cancer early detection program and the colorectal cancer control program, which Obama’s budget proposal also sought to slash.

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    Bob Gatty
    Bob Gatty, a former congressional aide, covers news from Washington for Urology Times.

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