Washington Days Brings Big Crowd to Capitol Hill
The National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF) hosted its annual Washington Days advocacy event March 8-10, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. NHF is excited to report that we had a record-breaking number of participants in this year’s Washington Days. More than 480 volunteer advocates from 46 states met with legislators and staff to discuss maintaining key patient protections in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). NHF’s Washington Days is an opportunity for people affected by bleeding disorders to advocate for issues that are important to them. NHF's advocacy this year focused on the debate surrounding the repeal and replacement of the ACA, and how that has affected the bleeding disorders community.
This year we asked our volunteer advocates to ask Congress to keep several key patient protections in any healthcare legislation that might be introduced to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
- Maintain the elimination of lifetime and annual limits on essential health benefits.
- Maintain federal requirements for essential health benefits to ensure patient protections are meaningful.
- Maintain the Medicaid expansion, including the categorical eligibility for childless men and women and the enhanced federal funding for the expansion population.
During the first day, attendees participated in training sessions on how to present the issues to members of Congress, and how to effectively use social media for advocacy. Former Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) spoke to attendees about the power of their personal story when speaking with members of Congress.
The following day all participants met on Capitol Hill with a full day of meetings, followed by a State Advocacy Recognition Dinner, which honored the many chapters who worked to have March recognized as Bleeding Disorders Awareness Month in 2016 and 2017. Washington Days concluded with breakfast and a state advocacy training, where participants learned effective local advocacy approaches.
NHF would like to thank all those who gave their time and energy to advocating on behalf of the entire bleeding disorders community. These past couple of days wouldn’t have been successful without the enthusiasm of the entire community. Please remember: if a legislator or his/her staff person contacts you, or if you have any questions, please feel free to contact a member of NHF’s public policy team at firstname.lastname@example.org
NHF is grateful to the following companies for their support of the Washington Days and state advocacy training sessions: Bayer; Bioverativ; CSL Behring; Genentech; Grifols; The Hemophilia Alliance; Shire; Octapharma; Pfizer; Novo Nordisk and Uniqure.