In September 2008, the “Arthritis Prevention, Control, and Cure Act” passed the House of Representatives. Unfortunately this legislation failed to pass through the Senate and did not become a law. (The Arthritis Act had to be passed in both congressional chambers and signed by the president for the bill to become law.)
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Explore This IssueMarch 2009
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The 111th Congress started Tuesday, January 6. All bills introduced in the 110th Congress that did not pass must be re-introduced in the current Congress. Representatives Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Fred Upton (R-Mich.) are committed to pushing the Arthritis Act through the 111th Congress. The ACR and the Arthritis Foundation continue to work with these lawmakers to move this legislation through and gain a victory for arthritis patients and the rheumatology community.
Your involvement last year resulted in the Act passing the House—and now we need your help again to successfully move this legislation through the 111th Congress. There are many ways you can help:
- Respond to ACR e-mail alerts. The ACR sends e-mail alerts asking you to contact Congress. When you receive these alerts, please take a few minutes to place a phone call, send an e-mail, or fax your member regarding the Arthritis Act or other issues affecting the rheumatology community.
- Meet with your members of Congress at home. Members of Congress are frequently in their hometowns/states for district work periods. During this time, schedule a meeting with them to discuss the issues affecting you and your patients.
- Attend a town hall meeting. While members are at home, many schedule town hall meetings to meet with their constituents. Attend these meetings, raise the Arthritis Act and other issues, and become a well-known face and voice to your elected member.
In addition, all ACR and ARHP members are invited to join the ACR’s advocacy list serve to discuss these and other issues affecting rheumatology. You will soon realize that you are not the only person frustrated by Congress’ handle on issues relating to Medicare, Medicaid, DXA reimbursement, research, and awareness funding. Join your colleagues on the list serve to stay informed on and discuss legislative and regulatory issues. The advocacy list serve provides you with an active discussion on urgent calls to action, legislation introduction, congressional and presidential action, and media coverage.
Your participation matters! Legislation does not become a law overnight. The changes to laws you see are the results of advocates like you being persistent in demanding change. Remaining involved—at any level—over time is you best route to getting the Arthritis Act passed.