Ask Your Members of Congress to Cosponsor These Bills
The larger the number of legislators cosponsoring these bills, the more likely they are to move forward in Congress. Are your members of Congress supporting the issues that will help you and your patients?
- H.R. 460—Patients’ Access to Treatments Act
- H.R. 1416—Protect Patient Access to In-Office Treatments
- H.R. 1701—Cutting Costly Codes Act
The ACR government affairs staff is here to answer your specific questions about these topics so you are ready to meet with your members of Congress. Give them a call at (404) 633-3777 or send an e-mail to [email protected].
Members of Congress will spend the month of August working in their districts and meeting with constituents. As they hear about myriad issues affecting your friends and neighbors, it is critical that they also hear from you. Speak up for rheumatology and help educate lawmakers on the critical issues facing our community.
August recess lasts all month, and lawmakers’ schedules will fill up quickly. Plan ahead and request an August meeting in July to ensure you have a spot. In-person meetings are critical because they allow you to develop a personal relationship with your lawmakers and their staff. As you continue to grow this relationship, lawmakers will feel comfortable turning to you as a trusted resource on important healthcare issues.
How Do I Schedule a Meeting in the Local Office?
Use the Legislative Action Center on the ACR website to find your legislator’s contact information. When you call your lawmakers’ local office, a member of their staff will answer the phone. Identify yourself as a constituent and tell them that you would like to meet with the representative during August recess to discuss current legislative issues that affect your practice and your patients. The staff member will find a mutually convenient time for you to stop by.
What Issues Do I Discuss?
Below are three of the major legislative priorities on which ACR members are focusing. Collectively focusing on these priorities presents a united front.
H.R. 460—Patients’ Access to Treatments Act: Biologic drugs like those used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, lupus, and other rheumatic diseases are breakthrough treatments that can prevent disability, save and improve lives, and allow patients to function and remain in the workforce. Insurance plans are increasingly placing biologic drugs on specialty tiers, often Tier IV, requiring patients to pay a percentage of the drug cost instead of a flat copay. This leaves many patients unable to access these critical medications. H.R. 460, Introduced by Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) and Rep. Lois Capps (D-CA), would limit cost sharing on specialty tiers to what plans require for nonpreferred brand drugs. Ask members of Congress to cosponsor H.R. 460.