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Lame Duck Session

Lame Duck Session

What a fitting title, lame duck.  We are going to have to wait until next month or possibly next year to see what happens with the Arthritis act. There was no Senate consideration of the bill during the November session.  But let’s not get discouraged.  Thanks to all of you who wrote letters; I don’t think that they were in vain.  The Arthritis Foundation even states that our work is evidenced with the unanimous House passage of the Arthritis Act in late September.  We WILL see this through!

Thanks again,

Michelle

Arthritis Act-Floor Vote Today! Please Call Your Reps this am!!!

Arthritis Act-Floor Vote Today! Please Call Your Reps this am!!!

OKaayyy, I totally slept in and almost missed this, flu has really gotten to me.  Enough about me, time is of the essence so I’m just copying and pasting from my email…

Arthritis Act Scheduled for Floor Vote Today!

Call your representative this morning

The US House of Representatives has scheduled a vote expected today, on the House floor on HR 1283, the Arthritis Prevention, Control and Cure Act.

Thanks to all of you for your hard work these past 5 years, but your work is not yet done.  We need to make sure that if a recorded vote is requested and taken on this bill that 2/3 of the Members of the US House of Representatives vote YES.  Being a co-sponsor of the arthritis bill does not guarantee a Member of Congress will vote YES when it reaches the floor, nor does a non-co-sponsor indicate he or she will vote against it.  For those of you with Members of Congress who have not co-sponsored but have indicated they would vote yes when it reaches the House floor, now is their chance to support the bill.

PLEASE CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE THIS MORNING AND ASK THEM TO VOTE YES ON HR 1283, the Arthritis Act.

Offices will be open from 8:30 am- 6:00 PM EST.  We need all of you to please call the Capitol switchboard at (202-225-3121) or call your Member directly and ask him/her to VOTE YES tomorrow on the Arthritis bill, HR 1283.

Copy and pasting over.  I’m going to add the link to find the number for your own representative here.  It’s the action alert page and just type your zip code in the box on the right and it’ll tell you who it is and all of their stats.

Weee hooo!  Let’s keep our painful fingers and toes crossed!  OK, I’m going to go call

Michelle

Arthritis Bill to be Marked up in Committee Today

Arthritis Bill to be Marked up in Committee Today

The Arthritis Prevention Control and Cure Act, HR1283 is scheduled for markup today before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. I totally missed the boat on the opportunity to call my congressional representative and have my voice be heard. I got the alert in my email yesterday and this flu bug has got me so down, I put off checking my email… I’m really upset that I missed this. All I can do now is pray. So many people have put in such hard work with their efforts to have their voices be heard. I really hope that it pays off. I want to thank every one of you that wrote to your reps and told your stories.

From the Arthritis Foundation email:

The Arthritis Foundation has been working closely with our Congressional sponsor and champion, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), to address concerns and reach consensus with other members of the Committee.  At this point in time, although the bill has been formally ‘noticed’ (at the above link) there are still ongoing negotiations to avoid a non-arthritis controversial amendment that may be offered.

This is the first piece of bi-partisan comprehensive arthritis legislation in more than 30 years. The Arthritis Foundation, through its volunteers and staff throughout the nation, and in Washington DC has been fighting for this bill for over 5 years.  As an arthritis advocate, you have been instrumental in helping to build support for this bill through your tireless efforts at letting your Member of Congress know how important it is to support this bill.  THANK YOU!

This legislation, if enacted, will improve research and public health for adults and children with arthritis and it will help reduce the treatment barriers for children with arthritis.  The bill still requires House passage which is not guaranteed due to the limited days Congress is in session – we will be alerting our grassroots and our Arthritis Ambassadors to ensure action is taken before Congress adjourns for the year.  We will be working closely with our Congressional sponsor, Anna Eshoo to make a strong push to ensure the bill is scheduled for floor action before final adjournment and have been in continuous contact with our Senate sponsors with a corresponding strategy.  Although we still have hurdles to overcome before the President signs this bill into law, we will be making significant progress tomorrow.

In order to ensure “smooth sailing” at the Committee “mark-up” on Tuesday, please call your Member of Congress and urge support of the Arthritis Prevention Control and Cure Act, HR 1283 without any controversial amendments in Tuesday’s mark-up.

After looking at the schedule this should be going on now, or just ending.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

Michelle

Good News from the Arthritis Foundation

Good News from the Arthritis Foundation

I just got this email from the Arthritis Foundation and instead of me trying to explain it ( I have no brain today)  I’m just copying and pasting the e-mail.  By the way, I’m advocate…   🙂

Arthritis Legislation Update
Dear Advocate,

As we near our nation’s birthday we wanted to share some preliminary good news regarding your advocacy efforts. Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee recommended that the National Institutes of Health receive a 3.5% increase overall. Although the Arthritis Foundation and many other organizations were requesting a 6.5% increase for NIH, the 3.5% increase represents the first time in six years that funding for NIH research has kept pace with biomedical inflation. The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases received a 2.9% increase with a recommendation for $523 million in Fiscal Year 2009. Due to Arthritis Foundation advocacy, the Committee specifically recommended the following in its approved bill:

“Arthritis – the Committee supports the establishment of a national data collection system to ensure that the safety and effectiveness of new arthritis treatment is understood and that they are applied in the most beneficial manner, especially in the case of childhood arthritis. The Committee also notes the strong need for a national network of cooperating clinical centers dedicated to the care and study of children with arthritis.”

This Committee Report language was first shared with our advocates and Congress during the Advocacy Summit in Washington DC. This language is extremely important and indicates to NIAMS that Congress considers juvenile arthritis a priority and one that deserves more attention.

The Senate Appropriations Committee also recommended a 1.2% increase for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, raising their budget from $6.4 billion to $6.5 billion (a $76 million increase). Due to the advocacy efforts of the Arthritis Foundation, including the Chapters, our grassroots advocates and our Arthritis Ambassadors, the arthritis program at CDC received an increase of $500,000, which is nearly a 4% increase, for $13.5 million in Fiscal Year 2009. Once both the full House and Senate pass their committees’ versions, the differences between the two must be reconciled, passed again and then sent to the President for his signature. The appropriations process is far from over, and we will be reaching out to you in the coming months to continue your advocacy work to let Congress know more needs to be done for people with arthritis. Thanks to all of you for continued advocacy efforts to increase federal attention and resources for both adults and children at the NIH, CDC and in states throughout the nation.

Have a happy and safe July 4th!

Arthritis Prevention, Control and Cure Act

Arthritis Prevention, Control and Cure Act

It’s 3:30 in the morning and my knees have woken me up again. Of course I turned on the computer and I decided to do the next few posts on what’s going on right now with the Act and what people across the country and in Washington are doing to try and help.
More to come tomorrow, me and my knees are going to try and go back to sleep.

Arthritis Prevention, Control and Cure Act

(S. 626/H.R. 1283)

46 million reasons, one opportunity to make a difference


46 million
Americans suffer from some form of arthritis. As the most common cause of disability and the third leading cause of work limitation in the U.S., arthritis has a significant impact on our nation’s economy.

The Facts:

  • Arthritis costs our country $128 billion annually; $81 billion in direct medical costs.
  • 294,000 children have a form of juvenile arthritis including juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and scleroderma.
  • By the year 2030, 67 million Americans or 25% of the adult population will have arthritis.
  • Nearly 19 million people with arthritis are forced to stop working within 10 years of diagnosis.
  • Americans with rheumatoid arthritis die 5 to 10 years earlier than persons without arthritis.
  • 9,500 Americans die due to arthritis in 2003.
  • 2/3 of Americans diagnosed with arthritis are under the age of 65.

To help address this ever-growing public health problem, Congress introduced the Arthritis Prevention, Control, and Cure Act (S. 626/H.R. 1283). This landmark legislation will:

  • Strengthen arthritis public health initiatives, allowing more people to be diagnosed early and avoid pain and permanent disability;
  • Expand the reach of evidence based self-management activities such as weight control and physical activity, which have been proven to reduce pain and reduce health care expenditures;
  • Ensure that limited federal funding for arthritis is used in the most strategic manner possible through the formation of a federal interagency coordinating committee; and
  • Authorize a remedy to address the country’s severe shortage of pediatric rheumatologists.

Congressional Request:


The Arthritis Prevention, Control, and Cure Act has 205 bipartisan cosponsors in the House and 46 bipartisan cosponsors in the Senate, yet 46 million Americans are still waiting for Congressional attention. The Arthritis Foundation urges the leadership of the House Energy and Commerce and the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committees to act now on S. 626/H.R. 1283.

Taken from the Arthritis Foundation Site, Advocacy Center www.arthritis.org

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