By Elridge Proctor, MPA, Director of Health Policy
Spring is here and, yet, we are only just beginning the most serious part of Congress’ work which includes establishing budget priorities for this year. Furthermore, Congress will need to decide on funding for the rest of Fiscal Year (FY) 2017, then address the President’s upcoming FY18 full budget, which is scheduled to be released in May. Although, there’s a long road ahead and much remains to be done, we have already made some great strides forward for the lung cancer community.
Here’s a look at what we have accomplished thus far:
- At the start of the new 115th Congress, LCA focused its first 100 days action plan on the potential impacts of the President’s and Congress’ effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which remains the law of the land, after the withdrawal of the “The American Health Care Act.”
- Guided by patients, LCA developed and issued our Healthcare Principles for a patient-centric healthcare delivery system to Congress.
- In addition, LCA partnered with the American Lung Association (ALA) along with 18 other public health and patient advocacy groups in a letter urging Congress to “Put Patients First” in healthcare.
- LCA led direct advocacy efforts for federal research funding and healthcare through alerts on our Lung Cancer Action Center.
- LCA in coordination with US Representatives, Rick Nolan (D-MN) and Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), re-established the Congressional Lung Cancer Caucus and recently held “The State of Lung Cancer Today,” briefing on Capitol Hill.
But we’re not done. Going forward, as important stakeholders in the ongoing healthcare policy discussions, you can help elevate the cause and amplify the voice of the lung cancer community by taking action on these critical issues:
Here’s what you can do!
- Urge Congress to reject proposed budget cuts to healthcare and research programs.
- Tell Congress to put patients first, ensuring their access to quality, affordable healthcare.
- Ask your Representative to join the Bipartisan Congressional Lung Cancer Caucus.
The road ahead remains uncertain because healthcare policy priorities continue to evolve. To stay informed and take your seat at the table, join us in Washington, DC from September 27-28 for the 2017 National Advocacy Summit focused on advancing patient-centric policies in the 115th Congress.
For more information or to send us your thoughts and questions email Policy@lungcanceralliance.org.