Our nation’s premier cancer centers need new and expanded clinical and research facilities to effectively accommodate our cancer patients and our cancer survivors. Cancer is, in large part, a disease of aging and, thus, the number of cancer patients will only increase as the population ages. In addition, the number of cancer survivors is increasing rapidly as we continue to make progress toward creating a cancer-free world. New clinical and research facilities are urgently needed to provide the best inpatient and outpatient care and to expand other needed programs.
H.R. 5861, introduced by Congresswoman Mary Jo Kilroy (OH-15) on July 26, 2010, would authorize a program to provide NCI-designated Cancer Centers and Comprehensive Cancer Centers (CCCs) low-interest-rate loans and loan forgiveness for PPS-exempt cancer hospitals. Specifically, the draft legislation would: (1) provide up to $900 million to this program; and (2) use criteria that ensure all 40 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers could qualify for low-interest loans. This would allow the nation’s leading cancer centers to move forward with planned capital projects to improve their clinical and research facilities to better fight the war on cancer.
Economists agree that construction projects have both a direct and indirect impact on stimulating the economy, with the indirect impact generally being two- to three-time the direct impact. Appropriating these funds would create tens of thousands of mid- to high-level paying jobs – including health care workers, researchers, and construction workers. Because the CCCs are dispersed across the country, the funds would benefit several regions. Further, it would be fairly straightforward to appropriate dollars to this program because the program already exists. Many of the cancer centers currently have projects ready to start, provided that funding is available. In fact, many centers had to stop work on a number of infrastructure projects because of the economic downturn.
We are confident that a number of cancer centers have shovel-ready projects that could begin immediately after the enactment of this legislation, and we estimate that these projects could create tens of thousands of temporary and permanent jobs. Here at Ohio State, ProjectONE is underway, an initiative that will create more than 10,000 jobs and bring $1.7 billlion into central Ohio's economy.
If you have any questions or would like to support the bill, please contact us.