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Federal Agenda 2019: What We’re Working On

Every new year brings a new opportunity for the American Heart Association and You’re the Cure to advocate for heart and stroke patients and for heart-healthy policies in Washington D.C. Read on to learn about some of the issues we will advocate on in 2019.

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Thanks to the efforts of You’re the Cure advocates we were able to achieve many of our legislative and regulatory goals in 2018. That success brings about new challenges to make sure the wins are implemented properly and timely, as well as a need to focus on new, lesser known topics. We are happy to take up that challenge, but we can’t do it alone. We will need your help if we’re to be successful, so please take a moment to read about some of our federal priorities for 2019.

While some of these have been longstanding AHA priorities, others are entirely new, and we will need your help to make sure that Congress and federal agencies know just how important these policies are to millions of Americans.

We know that many in Washington D.C. are guilty of using confusing acronyms and policy terms that mean nothing outside the Beltway, so we’ve broken down the priorities by topic. We hope that you will join other You’re the Cure advocates to help make this a great year for heart health!

Described below are four of our federal policy priority areas for 2019:

Access to Healthcare

  • We will support and defend access to affordable and adequate healthcare coverage.
  • Ensure that coverage policies are evidence-based and reflect AHA’s clinical practice guidelines.
  • Support policies that aid caregivers and improve advanced illness and palliative care.
  • Support policies that promote women’s health and help reduce health disparities.

Medical Research

  • Protect and increase funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
  • Support and promote NIH heart and stroke research funding.
  • Support and promote NIH initiatives focused on vascular dementia and the brain.
  • Restore and enhance funding for CDC’s Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention.
  • Protect the Prevention and Public Health Fund, support Million Hearts, the Paul Coverdell stroke registry, and the WISEWOMAN program.

Tobacco

  • Support the Food and Drug Administration’s ability to regulate tobacco.
  • Advocate for a flavor ban, including menthol, sales and marketing restrictions to limit youth access, a nicotine standard, and premarket review.

Nutrition

  • Protect school foods nutrition standards and prevent negative “nutrition policy riders” from sneaking into large Congressional bills.
  • Shape FDA Nutrition Innovation Strategy, including health claims, ingredient lists, sodium reduction, and menu labeling and Nutrition Facts label implementation.
  • Serve as a resource during the development of the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

This is not a complete list of what we will be working on in 2019. We expect new issues to surface that will need our attention, but we wanted to share some of the priorities that we think matter most to advocates like you.

Don’t see something that is important to you? Feel free to contact You’re the Cure on Facebook or Twitter and let us know what you want to see us focus on in 2019.

Thank you for being part of You’re the Cure and we look forward to working with you to achieve our goals in 2019!

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