Clinton/Reid Bill Would Boost Cancer Tracking at CDC

August 1, 2002

Now that President Bush has appointed Julie Gerberding to head the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), groups like the Trust for America’s Health are urging her to make cancer tracking a priority.

Now that President Bush has appointed Julie Gerberding to head the Centersfor Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), groups like the Trust for America’sHealth are urging her to make cancer tracking a priority. 

A new bill—the Nationwide Health Tracking Act—introduced by Sen. HillaryClinton (D-NY) and Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev) would authorize $227.5 million a yearfor expansion of a pilot CDC chronic disease tracking program. The Clinton/Reidbill, which has a counterpart in the House, grew out of hearings held in Fallon,Nev, and Long Island, NY, that focused on possible environmental links to cancerin those communities. 

Congress gave the CDC $17.5 million in fiscal 2002 to help get itsenvironmental health-tracking program off the ground. But at that funding level,the program’s reach is limited. Shelley Hearne, executive director of theTrust, points out that Congress just gave the CDC an extra $1 billion forbioterrorism. "But this funding and the CDC’s guidelines on how to spendit do not help the nation prepare for the number 1 killer of Americans today—chronicdiseases like cancer, asthma, and Parkinson’s disease," she states.