In 1997, Congress authorized the issuance of the first semipostal stamp for the specific purpose of raising funds from the American public to assist in finding a cure for breast cancer. The stamp currently is sold for 45 cents and is valid for the current cost of a one-ounce First-Class Mail letter. Congress directed that the difference between the price of the stamp and the First-Class Mail rate, less program costs, be directed to two designated research agencies, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Defense Medical Research Program. In accordance with the law, the General Accounting Office has reviewed this program.
From program inception through the end of 2002, approximately 402 million Breast Cancer Research stamps have been sold. Four years of sales raised a net voluntary contribution of $27.9 million, of which $5.7 million was raised in 2002.
The law provides for semiannual payments to be made on a schedule agreed to by the research agencies and the Postal Service. Proceeds from Breast Cancer Research stamp sales from July 28, 1998 through early September 2002 have been paid to the research agencies in a total of nine payments.
The costs associated with the Breast Cancer Research stamp include: design, printing, packaging, advertising, promotion, training, legal fees, market research, programming for retail automation and receipt printing costs. The Postal Service deducts selected incremental costs from Breast Cancer Research stamp revenues and then pays the proceeds to the research agencies. Through the end of 2002, approximately $650,000 has been withheld to cover these incremental costs.
The Heroes of 2001 semipostal stamp, authorized by legislation enacted by Congress in 2001, provides assistance to the families of emergency relief personnel killed or permanently disabled in connection with the terrorist attacks of September 11. 2001. The stamp was issued in New York City on June 7, 2002 and sells for 45 cents. Like the Breast Cancer Research stamp, it is valid for the current cost of a one-ounce First-Class letter. It must be offered for sale through the end of 2004.
In 2002, 45.5 million Heroes stamps were sold. This has resulted in a contribution of $3.9 million to the Federal Emergency Management Authority, which is responsible for disbursing payments to eligible recipients. Recovered costs to the Postal Service have been $200,000.
A. Financial Summary
C. Federal Government Appropriations
D. Emergency Preparedness Funding
E. Breast Cancer Research and
Heroes of 2001 Semipostal Stamps