NHF is thrilled to report that we had more than 300 participants from nearly 47 states in this year’s Washington Days event March 7-9, 2012. Attendees participated in 220 Hill visits, 104 of which were meetings scheduled with Congressional members--20 senators and 84 representatives.
This year we asked Congress to:
- Support maintaining funding for the full network of hemophilia treatment centers (HTCs) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC);
- Co-sponsor H.R. 1919, the Bleeding Disorder Screening, Awareness, and Further Education (SAFE) Act of 2011(House only); and
- Oppose repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
We are pleased to say your voices have been heard. Seven senators have since signed onto Senator Whitehouse’s letter to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health, and Human Services in support of the CDC maintaining its funding for all HTCs. They are senators Gillibrand (D-NY), Shaheen (D-NH), Reed (D-RI), Coons (D-DE), Stabenow (D-MI), Merkley (D-OR) and Wyden (D-OR). In addition, representatives McDermott (D-WA) and Altmire (D-PA) wrote letters to House appropriators supporting funding for HTCs. Read the Senator Whitehouse’s “Dear Colleagues” letter.
Following the Hill visits, participants enjoyed dinner and listened to NHF’s medical advisor, Marion Koerper, MD, give a presentation on “Advancing Research through Genotyping.” Washington Days concluded with the state advocacy training session on Friday with a discussion of Medicaid managed care and health insurance exchanges. Julia Paradise from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation’s Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured gave an overview of state efforts to move Medicaid beneficiaries into managed care plans, highlighting the potential difficulties and obstacles that states and consumers are facing. JoAnn Volk, research professor at Georgetown University’s Health Policy Institute, provided a comprehensive update on the states’ efforts to implement health insurance exchanges as required by the ACA. Both presentations were followed with a robust discussion by our panel of industry experts and questions from the audience.
Thank you for your continued support of and efforts toward NHF’s and the community’s advocacy issues. We will keep you informed as the appropriations process moves forward. If you receive a response from a legislator and/or staff person, or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact any member of the NHF public policy team.