NEW YORK STATE BREAST CANCER NETWORK
SUSAN M. COHEN EDUCATION & ADVOCACY DAY
MARCH 12, 2013
SUMMARY OF THE ISSUES
Call for Professional Standard Health Impact Assessment of Hydrofracking
The New York State Breast Cancer Network calls for a comprehensive Health Impact Assessment of hydrofracking that must be carried out according to well-established scientific standards. Between 10,000 and 50,000 gallons of chemicals are used to frack a single well, and at least 25% of the 600+ chemicals used in fracking are linked to cancer.
Another 37% interfere with our hormone systems and have been implicated in cancers of the breast, prostate, pituitary, testicle, and ovary. Fracking operations release radioactive substances, carcinogenic vapors, and toxic metals; and pollute the air with known and suspected human carcinogens. A thorough Health Impact Assessment (HIA) of hydrofracking is essential and must be designed in accord with national and international guidelines. It must be conducted with transparency and public input, it must include quantitative and economic analyses, and it must be led by an independent team of expert researchers untethered by gas industry or state agencies. The current “review” underway is an expedient, ad-hoc “review” that is not being conducted with transparency and public input and does not follow the established protocols of a comprehensive HIA. It is unacceptable. Any public health impact identified as an unsolvable problem in a true HIA must, by the Governor’s own standards, serve to halt the commencement of fracking in New York State.
New York State Health Benefit Exchange Enrollment Outreach
In April 2012, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an Executive Order to establish a New York Health Benefit Exchange (Exchange) under the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA). The New York State Breast Cancer Network (NYSBCN) is calling for its implementation with a robust, timely recruitment campaign. Absence of health insurance has created serious consequences for people diagnosed with breast cancer and other diseases, including delayed diagnosis, poor quality treatment, no treatment, increased morbidity and unnecessary deaths. Estimates are that 1 million New Yorkers can gain quality, affordable health insurance when the individual and small business Exchange is implemented. But people need to know about the Exchange, need to understand what it will do for them and need to be motivated to enroll for coverage through the Exchange. With coverage under the Exchange beginning January 1, 2014 and enrollment beginning October 1, 2013, it is crucial to reach those 1 million uninsured people. These outreach efforts must include targeting diverse communities- racial/ethnic groups, LGBT populations, low income households, and people with disabilities. To this end NYSBCN urges legislators to join in a strong outreach campaign so that all of their eligible uninsured constituents will be enrolled in the Health Benefit Exchange by January 1, 2014.