Legislative & Public Policy Priorities

National Breast Cancer Coalition's 2024 Legislative and Public Policy Priorities

The National Breast Cancer Coalition’s (NBCC’s) legislative and public policy priorities serve as the foundation of our legislative and regulatory advocacy work throughout the year. Each year, the grassroots NBCC board of directors, with input from our members, sets our public policy and legislative priorities for the coming year with the following process: Issues are brought to the attention of NBCC; staff researches the issue and prepares background information for officers, staff and the board; and the board discusses all suggested priorities at the board meeting, then votes on which issues to adopt and the order of their priority. NBCC focuses its work on issues that will have a major impact on breast cancer and those that are broad in scope rather than narrow issues.

Legislative Priorities

Priority #1:

$150 Million/Level Funding for the Department of Defense (DOD) Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP) for FY2025: As a result of NBCC’s grassroots advocacy, the DOD BCRP was created in 1992 to end breast cancer for Service Members, Veterans, and the general public by funding innovative, high-impact research through a partnership of scientists and consumers. The DOD BCRP is widely viewed as an innovative, unique, and efficient medical research model which has proven to be accountable to the public and has produced extraordinary results. NBCC seeks continued level funding.

Priority #2:

Metastatic Breast Cancer Access to Care Act: This legislation would waive the 24-month waiting period for Medicare and the five-month waiting period for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits for eligible individuals with Metastatic Breast Cancer.

Priority #3:

Preservation of the Medicaid Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Program: Congress enacted the Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Act in 2000 after years of NBCC grassroots lobbying and influence. NBCC remains committed to ensuring all women and men screened and diagnosed with breast cancer have access to the treatment they need.

Public Policy Priorities

Priority #1:

Guaranteed Access to Quality Care for All: Ensuring access to quality evidence-based health care has been a top priority of NBCC for many years. NBCC supports healthcare access initiatives that expand access to Medicare while offering a private insurance option, automatically enrolling individuals who do not have access to other coverage and providing guaranteed benefits, including primary and preventive care, hospital services, and prescription drug coverage. NBCC believes that there must be shared financial responsibility and that no individual should be denied coverage due to an inability to pay.

Priority #2:

Access to Affordable and Effective Therapies: NBCC supports policies that address systemic deficiencies in the law, regulation, and science policy that result in the approval of drugs that do not significantly extend or save lives and whose prices are not based on value or effectiveness.

Priority #3: 

Food & Drug Administration Reform: NBCC supports a drug approval system that prioritizes approving drugs with clinically meaningful benefits for patients. NBCC seeks to address systemic deficiencies in FDA regulation and the drug development process, including reforms to the accelerated approval pathway and the use of unvalidated surrogate endpoints.

Priority #4: 

Ensure the Participation of Educated Patient Advocates in Science Research and All Levels of Health Care Decision Making: NBCC continues to work to ensure that educated patient advocates who are trained and represent a constituency have a meaningful seat at the table in all levels of health care decision-making, which affects their lives.

Patient Advocates must:

  • Have a patient-led, patient-centered organization with a patient constituency to which they are responsible and accountable;
  • Have been personally affected by the disease; and
  • Be knowledgeable, trained, prepared, and confident in their ability to participate in the decision-making process of science and medicine.