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Capitol Hill Update: Busy Time in D.C.

To put it shortly, a lot is happening in Congress right now and things are a bit hectic in the nation’s capital. You’ve probably heard or read about much of it, so we won’t go into too much detail, but we want to highlight the potential for a major piece of legislation (and a way to help) that could be a game changer for advocates like you who want to build a world of longer, healthier lives.

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The U.S. House of Representatives is currently working on a large, economic recovery package that could have far reaching positive impacts for heart and stroke patients, survivors and really anyone that wants to build a world of longer, healthier lives. While this package is being referred to as the “reconciliation package”, we prefer to call it what it is…a huge opportunity for health advocates!

For those that are not familiar, this package could:

  • Introduce a federal tobacco tax on e-cigarettes to combat the youth tobacco epidemic
  • Extend access to affordable health care for millions across the country
  • Lower prescription drug prices for patients
  • Enhance Medicare to cover dental, vision and hearing
  • Ensure all children have access to nutritious food at school
  • Support families in caring for each other through paid family medical leave
  • Permanently extend Medicaid coverage from 60 days to 12 months postpartum
  • Improve public health preparedness for future pandemics like COVID-19

Bills like this don’t happen often in Congress and with your help we can ensure it truly does usher in historic updates to our nations’ public health. We’ve set up a campaign so you can quickly and easily contact your members of Congress in support of the policies mentioned above. Expanding access to care, lowering health costs, combatting the youth tobacco epidemic and improving nutrition policy in our nation truly are win-win propositions so please click this link and take action today!

As if that massive and potentially historic bit of legislation wasn’t enough for Congress…This week lawmakers also must scramble to reach an agreement to fund the government and avoid a government shutdown. In addition to the pressing issue of funding the government before the September 30 deadline, there will likely be votes in the House of Representatives on the bi-partisan, infrastructure package. This legislation included programs that also expire on September 30, and includes funding for heart healthy active transportation programs that create bike lanes, sidewalks, and recreation paths, and programs like Safe Routes to School. On top of all of that, Congress continues the debate over raising the nation’s debt ceiling, which is also coming close to a mid-October deadline. Though they may seem completely unrelated, these issues are all intertwined and will require some creative (and quick) solutions if they are to meet Thursday’s deadline to reach an agreement to fund the government, avoid defaulting on loans and fulfill our nations critical need to rebuild and enhance our infrastructure.  

As always, we will be monitoring the situation and on the lookout for ways that YTC advocates can weigh in. Hopefully we will have much more to share with you in our October newsletter so until then, please be sure to continue to monitor your inboxes for important updates and actions that will help us build a world of longer, healthier lives!

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