This month, over 200 advocates from across the country came out for You’re the Cure on the Hill Federal Lobby Day. October 16th- 18th supporters came to Washington DC to talk to their Members of Congress about top issues that we need to address at a federal level. Those who couldn’t come took part in our virtual lobby day from home!
Here is a snapshot of what we discussed:
National Institute of Health funding:
We talked with our legislators about the need for a $2.5 billion increase in federal funding. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for Americans, but only 5% of the NIH budget goes to heart disease research. NIH funding is essential to find innovative ways to diagnose, treat, and ultimately find cures for heart disease. With proper funding, we can work towards longer, healthier lives for millions of Americans.
Surprise medical billing/balanced billing:
We’ve all been there or know someone who has. You go to the doctor or the hospital with good insurance, thinking you’re taken care of. Then you get a bill for care from an out-of-network provider, when you never knew you saw anyone out-of-network! This could be for something like an ambulance – something you need and can’t really check at the time if they are in network. Cardiovascular patients rely on emergency care and an airlift to the hospital could cost up to $30,000. We talked with our legislators about the need to keep billing fair and to keep the battles for payment out of the hands of patients.
Flavored tobacco is the hot topic of the day and with good reason. Of all teens who smoke or use e- cigarettes, 80% of them say they started using tobacco products because they liked the flavor. These flavors reduce the harshness of tobacco and make tobacco easier to use - and easier to get addicted to. These flavors include mint and menthol, which are big sellers in the flavored tobacco market. Youth addiction to nicotine has skyrocketed in the past years due to e-cigarettes but flavored traditional tobacco products are still a problem as well. We asked our legislators to provide a comprehensive ban on flavored tobaccos. One that includes mint, menthol, and all types of tobacco.
These issues are essential to the health and well-being of all Americans. To see a world with healthier hearts, we need to prevent heart disease, protect patients from unfair costs, and properly fund research to make lives healthier. Thanks to everyone who took part!
If you weren’t able to take part then, you still can now! Call your Members of Congress and tell them what you think about these issues.