Devastating Cuts to Life-saving Programs

This year in Colorado, an estimated 18,900 people will be diagnosed with cancer.  6,700 Coloradans will die from the disease. 

Despite the impact cancer will have on Colorado, over $41 million has been cut from critical disease prevention and treatment programs, as well as the community health centers that administer services to patients.

These cuts have put many Coloradans at risk, including those who are battling cancer and those who need assistance in making healthier lifestyle choices to avoid getting cancer or a chronic disease.

Tell the legislature to protect Colorado's health.
We can't afford more cuts!



ACS CAN member and two-time breast cancer survivor, Melissa Windholz of Thornton has a message to elected officials: "These cuts to prevention programs only hurt Colorado!"

What do these cuts mean?
--  Over 1.2 million Coloradoans suffer from a chronic disease, some will now go without treatment and proper care
-- Cuts to programs such as the Colorectal Screening Program, the Colorado Quitline, and Tobacco Control Programs will burden Colorado with health care costs that could have been prevented.
--  Tobacco related illness costs our state over 1.3 billion dollars a year and burdens our health care system. Cuts to cessation programs and programs that deter young people from smoking will continue to fuel rising health care costs for the taxpayers of Colorado.

Cuts to prevention and treatment may also cost something much more dear - someone’s life.

Where did the money come from?
In 2004 Colorado voters passed the Amendment 35 Tobacco Tax to fund programs and services that improve the health of Coloradoans. Since 2005, tobacco tax dollars have provided funding for Colorado’s Medicaid Program and our Community Health Centers, as well as our state’s Tobacco Education and Prevention Program (STEPP) and our Cancer, Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Disease Grants Program (CCPD).

Colorado voters made their voices heard.
Colorado voters acted and lives have been saved.  Through Amendment 35 funds we have been able to improve health, save lives, and save money.
The Colorado State Budget was delivered a serious blow as a result of the economic downturn and our state’s unique fiscal constraints related to TABOR.  More than $41 million dollars from Amendment 35 programs have been cut by the Governor and State Legislature, but your voice needs to be heard as there are still life saving programs left to protect. 

What happens next?
The Colorado State Legislative Session begins on January 6, 2010.  Legislators are already discussing how to balance the major budget shortfall that is expected for the upcoming 2010-11 fiscal year.
Programs that screen and treat the uninsured for breast, cervical and colon cancer continue to thrive but could face elimination. Quitline and other successful programs that prevent youth smoking have already suffered a significant cut yet funding for these programs is, once again, in danger.

What can you do?
It’s time to remind lawmakers that chronic diseases do not rest in times of economic hardship, but rather gain momentum and hit the most vulnerable that much harder. The longer our state neglects making sustainable investments in prevention, the more it will cost us in the future and the more lives it will put in jeopardy right now.  We must demand that our lawmakers start looking at revenue raising alternatives to these devastating cuts as well as a long term solution to ensure the sustainability of life saving and cost saving programs and services.  We must tell lawmakers that a band aid approach to chronic disease prevention and treatment won’t work.
Click HERE to tell your legislators to protect these programs.

More information
For more information from your American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network please call or email:
Carlos Estrada- Grassroots Relationship Manager - (720) 524-5409
Dana Dzwonkowski- State Director of Government Relations - (720) 524-5445

Amendment 35 Cut and Colorado Budget Resource Page
For more information on these budget cuts, the Colorado budget, and alternatives to these cuts please click here.



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Colorado CAN at National Capitol

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Celebration on the hill