aHB 0775 - Maryland Pediatric Cancer Fund – Establishment and Income Tax Checkoff

HB 0775 - Maryland Pediatric Cancer Fund – Establishment and Income Tax Checkoff

Position: Support

Committees: House Health and Government Operations, and Ways & Means

The Maryland Catholic Conference represents the mutual public-policy interests of the three (arch)dioceses serving Maryland, including the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the Archdiocese of Washington, and the Diocese of Wilmington. We offer this testimony in support of House Bill 775.

HB 775 would establish the Maryland Pediatric Cancer Fund and the Maryland Pediatric Cancer Advisory Committee to review and evaluate request for funding from the Fund. The bill would also require the Secretary of Health to adopt regulations to implement a pediatric cancer grant program and require the Comptroller to include a checkoff on individual income tax return forms for voluntary contributions to the Fund.

Every year in the United States more than 17,000 children age 0-19 will be diagnosed with cancer. A pediatric cancer diagnosis affects children regardless of ethnicity, socio-economic status, or geographical location. Over the last 40 years the survival rate for pediatric cancer has increased from 10% to over 85%; there are roughly 438,000 adult survivors of pediatric cancer in the United States. Pediatric cancers are fairly uncommon compared to adult cancers therefore it is vitally important to fund research to help in the effective screening, prevention, treatment and eventual cure of pediatric cancer.

For these reasons, we urge a FAVORABLE report on House Bill 775.