Thank you to members who met with their congressperson and who participated in Virtual Advocacy Day.
Advocates met with House and Senate offices to push for passage of the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act, legislation that waives the coinsurance for screening colonoscopies that become therapeutic and has broad, bipartisan and bicameral support. They made the argument that paying for prevention services saves the government money in the long term by preventing treatment costs on cancer treatment.
H.R. 2077, the Restoring Patient’s Voice Act, addresses step therapy protocols that threaten the physician-patient relationship and delay timely treatment to care. Support for the legislation is growing and our advocates were able to relay experiences they have encountered with their patients’ care being delayed and also the administrative burden this policy places on practices.
Katherine Clark, D-Mass., a member of the House Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee, met with our advocates and let them know that the House-Senate conferees agreed to the $2 billion increase in NIH funding in the final bill. Rep. Clark is a strong supporter of NIH and called it the “pillar of our economy.” AGA members encouraged their legislators to support the final Labor-HHS package that includes this $2 billion increase, which amounts to a 5.5% increase. The Senate recently approved the final agreement on Labor-HHS for fiscal year 2019 and we call on the House to follow suit.
AGA appreciates all those advocates who took time out of their busy schedules to advocate on behalf of their colleagues and patients. We also appreciate those who took time to participate in Virtual Advocacy Day. Remember, if we don’t advocate for GI, no one will.
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