Policy Priorities at ZERO
Key Issues for Patients and Families
ZERO fights on behalf men and their families to ensure that the government directs resources to prostate cancer that further our mission and does not implement policies that hinder the Journey to Generation ZERO, the first generation free from prostate cancer.
ZERO’s policy priorities are:
Protecting and growing research funding
- We urge Congress to support prostate cancer prevention and education funding. The President’s FY2018 budget request eliminates funding within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) comprehensive cancer control program for prostate cancer activities. This funding supports the development and dissemination of content to help patients and providers have a better-informed discussion about treatment options. It also provides needed funding for important surveillance activities that help providers, epidemiologists, and researchers better understand the disease, its incidence, and progression. The Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bills have
maintained funding for CDC prostate cancer activities in the last two years,
and we hope that support for the CDC will continue.
Advocating for early detection methods, recommendations, access to care, and coverage
- We urge Member of Congress to cosponsor H.R. 539, the USPSTF Transparency and Accountability Act of 2017 introduced by Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) and Bobby Rush (D-IL). The bill would make significant changes to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), and the process the Task Force uses to make formal recommendations regarding preventive care services. It requires the involvement of specialists and stakeholders in the recommendation process, in addition to public comment periods on draft recommendations. The bill also trikes the language added by the Affordable Care Act that directly ties Medicare coverage of preventive services to the USPSTF gradings.
On May 8, 2018, the USPSTF released their final recommendation for the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening, upgrading their recommendation from a "D" grade to a "C" grade. The “C” grade, while an improvement on their previous recommendations, it is still not sufficient because it means that insurance companies: 1) Do not have to cover the PSA-test and 2) Can make patients pay for all or some of the screening even if the insurance company does cover the test.
- We urge the Veteran’s Health Administration to increase Access to innovative prostate cancer diagnosis and treatment technology. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Currently, our Veterans are having difficulty accessing the most advanced technologies to help them receive optimal treatment. The lack of access is due to red tape and segmented budgets. ZERO calls on Congress to ensure our Veterans receive access to the technologies their physicians deem appropriate for evaluation and treatment.
Encouraging coordination among federal agencies
Raising education and awareness about prostate cancer issues at the federal, state, and local levels
- ZERO’s origins stem from grassroots advocacy efforts to secure federal funding for prostate cancer research. Each year during our Prostate Cancer Summit, passionate advocates like you descend on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC to continue fighting for policies that will end prostate cancer.
Through effective advocacy, we can influence the formation of achievable government policy and encourage elected officials to support our priorities. The constituent voice is a powerful one!
Become an advocate to end prostate cancer.