The Time to Advocate is Now! Arthritis Advocacy and Our Health – by Ashley Boynes-Shuck

I’ve shared ways to advocate in the past, but there’s no time like the present to get involved if you haven’t already.

You may or not be aware of this but Congress has appointed a “Super Committee” to find ways to reduce government spending. This is an important task, yet we as patients and advocates must ensure that federal cuts don’t harm critical programs for people with chronic diseases and disabilities like arthritis and other related rheumatic conditions.

This is why the Arthritis Foundation has joined other leading patient organizations that are members of the National Health Council, to ask Members of Congress to protect essential health services from cuts by the Super Committee.

According to the Arthritis Foundation, “We are urging our grassroots and their family members to call Congress ASAP, and tell them not to let the Super Committee make cuts that would hurt arthritis patients!  The Super Committee needs to prioritize health care research, prevention, treatment, coverage and access to quality care such as Medicare.

Protecting investments in health includes areas such as research, treatment, care delivery, coverage, prevention, and access to quality care.

 

Call the toll-free phone numbers below as soon as possible. Your calls will be redirected to the appropriate offices.

 

  • Call 1-866-414-6376 to reach your U.S. Representative. You will hear a pre-recorded message. Enter your zip code using the numbers on your touch-tone phone. You will be connected to your Congressperson’s office.

 

  • Call 1-866-414-7494 to reach your U.S. Senators. Again, you will hear a pre-recorded message and will need to enter your zip code. You will then be asked whether you want your call to go to your state’s junior Senator or your senior Senator. After making your selection, your call will be directed to the appropriate office. You should make a phone call to each Senator’s office.

 

Here is a sample script you can use:

 

Hi, my name is __________.  I’m a voter from ____ (give your home town) ____ as well as an advocate for the Arthritis Foundation.  May I please speak to the staff person who handles health care issues?

Today, the Arthritis Foundation is joining with other patient advocacy groups that are members of the National Health Council to askMembers of Congress if they know how deep cuts in health spending will impact patients.

Reducing investment in medical research, prevention programs and Medicare may save money now, but this will lead to even higher costs in the future if my health and the health of other Americans decline as a result of the cuts.

I would like to discuss how cutting health care and research spending would impact me and my family. Share your personal story.

Please tell Representative/Senator __________________ to consider the impact that cutting health spending would have on me and the rest of the nation. Thank you!”

 

Remember, the sooner, the better! The time is NOW!

Here is more info from the Arthritis Foundation about advocating, including our priorities, as well as info from the American College of Rheumatology, here.

 

We must act now! If you are an advocate please share any ideas or comments that you’d like in the comments section of this blog.

As always, thanks for reading!

Stay Well,

 Ashley Boynes-Shuck

What’s YOUR weapon against arthritis?

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