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house Bill H.R. 931

Should There be a Voluntary Registry to Gather Data on Cancer Among Firefighters?

Argument in favor

The CDC should maintain a voluntary cancer registry for firefighters — they put their lives on the line for the public in dangerous situations and any insights that can be gained into the types of cancer threat they face would be beneficial.

Pesach's Opinion
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09/11/2017
As a sickened Sept 11 paramedic responder and life long EMT we are seeing highly aggressive tumors as well as other illnesses. We need a registry for all fireman who go into transformer fires with pcbs, and asbestos during building collapses as well as fiberglass damage from fires and building collapses. We need a national registry for all fireman and Emergency Medical Services. Please vote in favor
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09/11/2017
As with all our men and women who have volunteered to protect us, we must do all we can to protect these courageous people. Hence, vote yes on this bill,
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Jen's Opinion
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09/11/2017
Yes of course! This should have been done immediately after 911!
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Argument opposed

There’s not much to be gained from maintaining a voluntary cancer registry for firefighters across the country. This bill is unnecessary and the CDC should focus its resources elsewhere.

Dajul73's Opinion
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09/11/2017
Unless the government is going to require the CDC create similar programs for other hazardous jobs in the public arena then this is a senseless program open to biased, skewed data.
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Shauna's Opinion
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09/11/2017
The national tumor registry contains all cancer cases. This project would be redundant.
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Marilyn's Opinion
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09/11/2017
We can't have all these surveys and such. Just give them the best medical they need.
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What is House Bill H.R. 931?

This bill would require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop and maintain a voluntary registry of firefighters to collect history and occupational information that can be linked to existing data in state cancer registries. The registry would be used to improve the monitoring of cancer among firefighters and to collect and publish epidemiological information regarding cancer among firefighters. The CDC would seek to include specified information in the registry, including the number and type of fire incidents attended by an individual.

To collect information for the registry, the CDC would be permitted to incorporate questions into existing public health surveys, questionnaires, and other databases. The CDC would be required to:

  • Develop a strategy to maximize participation in the registry;

  • Develop a guidance for states and firefighting agencies regarding the registry;

  • Encourage inclusion in the registry of data on minority, female, and volunteer firefighters;

  • Seek feedback on the registry from nonfederal experts.

The CDC must develop a process for making registry data available for research without a fee if findings or publications from the research are made public or available to stakeholders.

Impact

Firefighters who would participate in the voluntary cancer registry; and the CDC.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 931

$10.00 Million
The CBO estimates that enacting this bill would cost $10 million over the 2018-2022 period.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) introduced this bill to develop and maintain a voluntary registry to collect data on the incidence of cancer in firefighters:

“Firefighters are some of the bravest among us and more needs to be done to keep them safe. This legislation has the potential to lead to methods that save the lives of the courageous men and women that keep our communities safe. I’m humbled by the strong bipartisan support we have received and look forward to getting this bill on the House floor.”

Lead cosponsor Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) added:

“When the brave men and women in the fire services enter dangerous situations they do not stop to ask whether they are subjecting themselves to long-term health risks. They do whatever is necessary to keep our communities safe. That is why we must have their backs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on average firefighters are at higher risk for certain kinds of cancer when compared with the general population. Further public health research on this topic is needed so we can start working to find ways to alleviate this risk.”

This legislation passed the House Energy & Commerce Committee on a voice vote, and has the support of 188 bipartisan cosponsors — including 114 Democrats and 74 Republicans.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: chuckmoser / iStock)

AKA

Firefighter Cancer Registry Act of 2018

Official Title

To require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop a voluntary registry to collect data on cancer incidence among firefighters.

bill Progress


  • EnactedJuly 7th, 2018
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The senate Passed May 10th, 2018
    Passed by Voice Vote
      senate Committees
      Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
  • The house Passed September 12th, 2017
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
      Health
    IntroducedFebruary 7th, 2017

Log in or create an account to see how your Reps voted!
    As a sickened Sept 11 paramedic responder and life long EMT we are seeing highly aggressive tumors as well as other illnesses. We need a registry for all fireman who go into transformer fires with pcbs, and asbestos during building collapses as well as fiberglass damage from fires and building collapses. We need a national registry for all fireman and Emergency Medical Services. Please vote in favor
    Like (88)
    Follow
    Share
    Unless the government is going to require the CDC create similar programs for other hazardous jobs in the public arena then this is a senseless program open to biased, skewed data.
    Like (35)
    Follow
    Share
    As with all our men and women who have volunteered to protect us, we must do all we can to protect these courageous people. Hence, vote yes on this bill,
    Like (35)
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    Share
    Yes of course! This should have been done immediately after 911!
    Like (22)
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    This should be passed. However I would suggest that it be mandatory and not voluntary, or that people have to opt out instead of opt in. Statistics are only truly useful when you have as much data as possible.
    Like (20)
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    The national tumor registry contains all cancer cases. This project would be redundant.
    Like (15)
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    I say yes, however it should include all first responders. Law enforcement and medics can also be exposed to dangerous chemicals, asbestos, etc. The CDC should maintain a voluntary cancer registry for them all; they put their lives on the line for the public in dangerous situations and any insights that can be gained into the types of cancer threat they face would be beneficial.
    Like (14)
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    We can't have all these surveys and such. Just give them the best medical they need.
    Like (7)
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    There is already a Cancer Registry with the American College of Surgeons. Add a blank for occupation. Solved.
    Like (5)
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    All possible assistance needs to be available to firefighters as they risk lives for all of us. Affordable and comprehensive health care needs to be in place. The data collected from firefighters can be shared with others which is against HIPA. Also the data can be skewed by the number of volunteers. There is ambiguity concerning this bill that will need to be addressed before the purpose of the bill is met.
    Like (4)
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    Yes this may be a problem, yes there are issues, but no we don't need to waste more tax dollars on another list
    Like (3)
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    They may not want to be studied like rats, but if voluntary and you don't have all participating, data will be skewed. They receive hazardous duty pay. They wear protective gear. Why study firefighters over other professions?
    Like (3)
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    They should because firefighters are exposed to extreme dangers during their entire carrier than any other public servant.
    Like (2)
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    Collecting data is the first step to realizing and showing that there is a problem. Firefighters put their lives on the line, and we should be taking steps like these to learn more about their risks and what can be done to protect them.
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    In no way do I want to minimize the sacrifice the volunteer fire fighters give. However, this bill is not providing any service, healthcare benefits or such to the volunteer firefighters. It is simply a bill proposing a registry; paid for with tax payer money. We already have such a registry ~ the Electronic Medical Record. The EMR is a system that has been set up and can be linked into by others, like the CDC. If a volunteer firefighter is being treated for lung cancer, it will be listed on his medical chart, (EMR). The CDC can filter in the requirements of their search and obtain the same results. Why use tax payers money to pay for a system that already exists?
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    This may be a good thing but the scope of study is far too small. Incidents of cancer but no provision to discover the causes will do nothing to help prevent cancer in the long run.
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    This would help medicos in future treatment of these heroes.
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    As a cancer survivor, I fully believe in the need to understand as much as we can from all types of cancers. That said, I don't understand how a registry of firefighters with cancer would be of benefit. If this information is not already tracked by the CDC, it should be based on the types of cancers occurring and in conjunction with risk factors in the population as a whole.
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    Should be law, same as increased Parkinson's for firefighters and other first responders that breath toxic chemicals when responding to fires or accidents.
    Like (1)
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    These individuals protect us. We should show them the same respect.
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