The measure passed committee & will go before the full Senate.
Washington DC (KM). Legislation which recently passed the Senate Appropriations Committee contains funding for the Children Cancer Survivorship Treatment, Access and Research Act. The STAR Act passed last year, but the funding was approved this year.
Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) was one of the co-sponsors of that bill. “Childhood cancer remains the number-one disease killer of kids,” he says. “Just last year, over 10,000 were diagnosed with cancer. Over 1,000 of them will die.” Those statistics come from the National Cancer Institute.
Van Hollen says the STAR act will fund research into childhood cancer, and provide services for people who survived cancer when they were kids.
The appropriations bill which passed last week on a bipartisan basis. funds the Departments of Labor, Health and Humans Services, Education and related agencies. The measure increases funding for the National Institutes of Health by $2-billion in fiscal year 2019. It also contains $61.5-billion for the National Cancer Institute, which is a boost of $182.3-million from fiscal 2018 funding.
“Those monies will go primarily to NCI, through the increases in the NIH budget, and NCI will be a major beneficiary of that, including the funds to fight childhood cancer,” says Van Hollen.
There is also $30-million set aside for the NCI campus at Fort Detrick in Frederick. “That’s a vital institution; it’s a key part of the National Cancer Institute. These funds will help make sure that we can renovate and modernize the facilities there so they can continue to do their good work,” says Senator Van Hollen.
He says the STAR Act will fund NIC’s pediatric cancer research and treatments. The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention will receive an additional $2-million to improve its childhood cancer surveillance and provide resources for survivors and those impacted by cancer as children, says Van Hollen.
He says he got involved in fighting childhood cancer after hearing from a number of his constituents who lost their kids to cancer. “You have young kids. They have cancer. They get diagnosed with cancer. Because of past research, a lot more kids are able to be saved,” says Senator Van Hollen. “But we also know with additional research, we can save a lot more kids.”
Now that the appropriations bill has passed the Senate Appropriations Committee. it will go before the full Senate for its consideration. Then it will be reconciled with a House-passed version before it’s goes off to the President to be signed into law.
By Kevin McManus