On March 10, the ACR hosted its 2009 “Advocates for Arthritis” fly-in. During this event, over 100 rheumatologists, rheumatology health professionals, and patient advocates walked the halls of Congress to lobby legislators on important issues affecting the rheumatology community. Advocates urged Congress to support:
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- The “Arthritis Prevention, Control, and Cure Act”;
- Legislation to restrict Tier IV pricing;
- A permanent fix to the Sustainable Growth Rate;
- Legislation to ensure access to osteoporosis testing; and
- Continued increases for arthritis research funding.
Improving public policy starts with educating lawmakers on the problems affecting their constituents.
Prior to “Advocates for Arthritis,” the ACR hosted an educational session where leaders in Washington addressed healthcare reform, comparative effectiveness, and ACR health policy priorities. Additionally, advocates attended a training session in preparation for their congressional visits.
RheumPAC Committee Chair Gary Bryant, MD, also gave a presentation about RheumPAC, the bipartisan political action committee created to support legislators who support rheumatology, and its role in enhancing the ACR’s advocacy activities.