2019 was another big year for You’re the Cure, both in Washington D.C. and across the country. Whether you called or emailed, sent tweets or attended legislative meetings with lawmakers, there is no doubt that YTC advocates were a relentless force for longer healthier lives and we made a tremendous impact in 2019!
Congress has unveiled a bipartisan deal on annual appropriations and other priorities that is widely expected to pass Congress before Friday December 20th. This deal includes several important aspects that will directly impact heart and stroke advocates across the country. While we are highlighting some key accomplishments from our federal agenda, there is no doubt that YTC advocates made a huge difference in state and local campaigns as well. For more information on your local impact, we encourage you to reach out to state staff. If you don’t know who that is, just send us an email at [email protected] and we would be happy to connect you!
Key Accomplishments for 2019:
- Bipartisan agreement to raise the national tobacco sales age to 21: That’s right! Congress heard you and have reached an agreement to halt tobacco sales to teens and move the sales age to 21, in every state!
- Bipartisan agreement to increase funding for medical research and prevention programs at the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control: This agreement will provide increased funding for life-saving research and prevention programs.
- Every Kid Outdoors Act signed into law: This bill encourages children and families of 4th grade students to get outside and get moving in our national parks, lands and waters for free which can lead to a lifetime of healthy choices and activities!
- H.R. 2339, the “Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2019” passed out of the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee: This comprehensive bill would remove all flavored tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes from the market, as well as restrict Big Tobacco’s ability to market their product to children. We are hopeful that with continued pressure from advocates like you, the full House of Representatives and Senate will vote in support of the critically important bill so we can put an end to the youth tobacco epidemic.
- You’re the Cure on the Hill Federal Lobby Day: This fall, hundreds of YTC advocates flocked to DC to meet with lawmakers. It was a tremendous show of force as the halls of the Capitol were turned red by our advocates. Trust us… Members of Congress noticed!
- Surprise Medical Billing taking center stage: While no piece of legislation has been passed yet, we helped draw attention to a critically important issue that is 50% more likely to affect heart and stroke patients. This issue is not going away. Patients are still at risk of receiving financially crippling surprise medical bills and Members of Congress have expressed desire to act swiftly and in a bipartisan way to protect patients. That is a big change from this time in 2018, when few in Congress spoke on the issue. Surprise medical billing legislation will come up again in 2020 and we need to be ready to take swift action in support of any bill that protects patients.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of all that YTC accomplished in 2019 but should serve as a reminder of all that we can achieve when we make our voices heard. Throughout 2019, YTC advocates were a relentless force in Washington D.C. and in states and localities across the country.