You’ve probably seen on the news that Congress has not yet agreed to a deal on a COVID-19 recovery package. You’ve probably seen that Congress left town, then abruptly came back to vote on financial assistance for the post office and left again.
What you may not be aware of, is that even when members of Congress are not in Washington D.C. the American Heart Association and You’re the Cure remain active and engaged on many life-saving issues.
In fact, much of the groundwork for life-saving legislation actually happens when Congress is not in town. This time gives us a chance to talk about issues without the distraction of votes or floor speeches. That’s why we thought it would be a good time to remind you of a few, critically important issues we are still working on, even when Congress is not in session. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but rather to give you an idea and understanding of some of the things we’re still working on. If you’d like to take action in support of these policies you can do so easily in our YTC action center, or if you would like more information on the topics don’t hesitate to reach out to [email protected]
- Child Nutrition Programs:
- In response to the pandemic we want to see an extension of the P-EBT program, which helps families buy nutritious foods.
- Universal School Meals:
- Universal school meals would automatically enroll all students in the breakfast and lunch programs regardless of need. Due to the pandemic there is expected to be a massive influx of students who are eligible or nearly eligible and universal meals allows school food service providers to focus on feeding children nutritious food, and not on filling out paperwork.
- Surprise Medical Billing:
- We are working with a large coalition of public health groups to put an end to the practice of surprise medical billing which can be financially crippling. During a pandemic or an emergency like a cardiac arrest, the last thing you should be worried about is whether an emergency room visit will lead to an unaffordable surprise bill.
- Financial Relief for Nonprofits:
- Nonprofits like the American Heart Association are doing all we can to serve our communities at a time when people need us most. But if we’re to continue to serve and provide life-saving resources large nonprofits like the AHA and others need financial assistance from Congress.
- Active Transportation Funding:
- The ability to get outside for walking, biking or rolling activities in a safe setting is even more crucial during the pandemic. Active transportation funding is a critical pandemic response and will help provide things like dedicated bike lanes and more sidewalks to enable us to get outside and could lead to an improvement in health.