Before Congress flew out of DC for a week, they passed a bill ordering the FAA to shift budgets around impacted by the sequester cut to end flight delays. However, as Dr. William Nibley with Utah Cancer Specialists has said so well, “I would invite anyone in Washington to come look my patients in the eye and tell them that waiting for a flight is a bigger problem than traveling farther and waiting longer for chemotherapy.” When Congress returns next week they need to address the sequester cut to cancer drugs. The deadline for a response to the questions posed in the letter that Congressman Pete Sessions and 123 House colleagues sent to CMS about the sequester cut to cancer drugs is April 29, 2013. Additionally, Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-NC) has the Cancer Patient Protection Act of 2013 (H.R. 2013) gaining momentum with over 50 cosponsors.
If you want to stop the sequester cut to cancer drugs, you need to continue to deliver a simple message to your Representatives: COSPONSOR H.R. 1416 for CANCER CARE. That is, COSPONSOR Congresswoman Ellmer's bill, H.R. 1416. It is that simple. Any Representative supporting cancer care will COSPONSOR.
Reach out to all of the Representatives covered by your practice, including where you have clinics and from where you treat patients. Members of the practice team need to contact members of the House and their staff, starting with the health legislative staff. It is important they understand the issues.
Here are some helpful materials to deliver a simple message: COSPONSOR H.R. 1416 for CANCER CARE.
Click here to access the Cancer Patient Protection Act, H.R. 1416
Click here to access the list of current co-sponsors of H.R. 1416.
Click here to access a one-page background on the sequester cut to cancer drugs. You can use this as talking points and to actually send to members and staff.
Click here to access a list of health legislative staff and their phone numbers and email addresses.
Click here to access the Sessions et al letter that was sent to CMS to see who signed.
If you want to look up who the Representative is for a certain zip code, click here on the COA Legislative Action Center.
Suggestions for Asking Representatives to COSPONSOR H.R. 1416 for CANCER CARE
- If you have a good contact in the office, either the member directly or a staff person, contact them. Use the talking points.
- It is very important to educate the health legislative staff. Contact them for a time to talk. Click here for an email template that you can customize. Use the list above to find the email address of each staffer. Remember to attach the one-pager provided above.
- Don't inundate the health staff with calls and emails -- educate them and strike up a relationship. They are there to help.
- Start with the DC offices but it is always a good idea to reach out to the local offices of your Representatives.
Involving the Community in Outreach to Representatives
If you want to involve your, staff, patients, and the entire community in general outreach to their Representatives, we have worked with members of the community to develop simple guidance.
Click here for information to provide all to make general calls into the offices of their Representatives to ask them to COSPONSOR H.R. 1416 for CANCER CARE.
For more information and resources, go to the Sequestration Cancer Care Cut Resource Center on the COA website.