Hello, patient advocates! Dr. Angus Worthing here, chair of the American College of Rheumatology’s Government Affairs Committee, with an update on our September Advocates for Arthritis Washington D.C. fly-in.
Our recent event was a great success with more than 100 physician and patient advocates from across the nation visiting Capitol Hill to meet with their representatives. Together, we advocated for several important legislative fixes to the drug cost and access issues impacting our patients.
Participants also took time to thank supportive legislators and share highlights from their meetings on social media. See below for tweets of Senator Franken (MN) receiving his own Simple Tasks fork pin and Senator Collins (ME) shaking hands with advocates. Posts like these ensured that the #Act4Arthritis message was heard not only in the 140 Congressional offices who met with attendees, but across the country.
— Mary J. Wheatley (@MaryJWheatley) September 26, 2017
— Afton Hassett (@AftonHassett) September 26, 2017
And we’re not done yet: Even if you were not able to make it to our nation’s capital, you can still help influence policy and build on our success by reaching out to your lawmakers. It’s easy to do through our Simple Tasks legislative action center.
One of the most effective ways to influence Congress is to share your real-world experiences about the effects of government policies on your health care.
Have you had difficulty affording biologics drugs even with health insurance coverage? Tell your Member of Congress your story and ask him or her to sign on as a co-sponsor to H.R. 2999, the Patients’ Access to Treatment Act (PATA).
Are you concerned that a Medicare therapy cap would interfere with your ability to receive rehabilitation services like physical and occupational therapy? Sharing your concerns may inspire your Member of Congress to sign on to sponsor H.R. 775 to permanently abolish this threat.
Members of Congress want to hear from their constituents and you can help make a real difference for not only you, but the 54 million Americans living with rheumatic diseases.
Thanks to all our advocates who joined us on Capitol Hill and to all of you who are advocating from home to #Act4Arthritis!
Dr. Angus Worthing