Dingell receives ACS advocacy award

U.S. Rep. John Dingell (D-Dearborn) last week received the highest honor bestowed by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

Dingell received the National Distinguished Advocacy Award in gratitude for his years of commitment to strong public health and cancer policies.

The annual award is given by ACS CAN, the advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, to select lawmakers who demonstrate leadership in the area of cancer-related public policy advocacy.

Dingell had a lead role in crafting national health reform legislation, and he authored the Patient’s Bill of Rights. He was instrumental in the passage of Medicare, Medicaid, and more recently, Children’s Health Insurance Program and the Affordable Care Act.

Dingell also has been a voice in Congress for an increase in federal funding for cancer research, beginning with the National Cancer Act in 1971. Since then, the nation’s war on cancer has brought millions of dollars and jobs to the national economy as well as raising the five-year cancer survivorship rate from less than 50 percent to 68 percent today.

Other recent legislation that he has supported or played a significant role in includes: Affordable Care Act, State Children’s Health Insurance Program, and the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. He has also supported funding increases for critical cancer research and prevention programs including National Breast and Cervical Cancer Program; National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention funding increases; as well as voting to increase the federal tobacco tax.

“Throughout his entire 56-year career he has been working to make health care more affordable and accessible for all Americans,” said Peter Sheldon, board member of the American Cancer Society, Great Lakes Division, and board member of ACS CAN, which is based in Washington, D.C.