FAIRFAX, VA, APRIL 27, 2023 – How to ensure asthma and allergy patients get the medications they need when they need it? Allergy & Asthma Network is urging Congress to pass legislation that helps ensure the more than 26 million Americans with asthma and 50+ million with allergies have access to safe, effective and affordable medical care.
On May 3, the Network is hosting its 26th annual Allergy & Asthma Day Capitol Hill (AADCH) in Washington, DC. Our theme is “Moving Toward Patient-Centered Care.” Two bipartisan bills currently before Congress address patient access in different ways:
- Safe Step Act improves step therapy protocols and ensures patients are able to obtain the best treatment prescribed to them.
- HELP Copays Act requires health insurers to count the value of copay assistance toward deductibles or out-of-pocket maximums.
Allergy & Asthma Network is also asking Congress to support two bills that impact schoolchildren with asthma and food allergies:
- Protecting Children with Food Allergies Act would require school food staff to complete food allergy training.
- One School One Nurse Act addresses an ongoing shortage of school nurses by providing grants for recruiting, hiring and retaining school nurses in public schools.
During AADCH, patients, families, advocates, healthcare professionals and industry partners go to Capitol Hill to meet with federal legislators and their staff. The goal is to raise awareness and urge passage of legislation that ends needless death and suffering due to asthma, allergies and related conditions.
This year, Allergy & Asthma Network has once again scheduled in-person visits with members of Congress, their staff and policymakers. Nearly 100 AADCH advocates are expected to come to Capitol Hill on May 3.
The Network will also host its annual Congressional Lunch Briefing on May 3 in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, DC. The briefing features the Congressional Asthma & Allergy Caucus, presentations from leading allergists, the National Medical Association, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and patient testimonials.
“We’re excited to head back to Capitol Hill to advocate for patient-centered care and urge Congress to enact legislation and health policies that puts the needs of patients first,” says Allergy & Asthma Network interim CEO Lynda Mitchell, MA, CAE. “We will advocate to expand access to high-quality affordable care, including for schoolchildren living with asthma and severe allergies. We will also promote evidence-based care and greater expansion of telehealth services.”
In addition, Allergy & Asthma Network also advocates for federal funding of asthma and allergy programs, including those at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), among others.
For a complete list of AADCH issues and priorities, visit our Advocacy Center.
Advocates not able to attend AADCH in person can participate by sending emails to their legislators on May 3. Our Take Action webpage lists all active campaigns that need your support. You will find template emails to send to your legislators, making advocating as easy as just a few clicks.
“Whether it’s in person or virtually, the more advocates who connect with their legislators, the more powerful our voice and the greater our impact,” Mitchell says. “We will share our message that expanding access to care helps patients get the treatment and education they need to better manage their condition – and live a full, active life.”
In addition to AADCH, Allergy & Asthma Network is also hosting its annual Social Influencers Summit on Tuesday, May 2. The Summit brings together leading social media influencers in asthma, allergy and eczema care. Topics include current trends in asthma and allergy care, how to build an online community and how to ensure health inequity is part of the conversation. Influencers also learn how to develop effective advocacy campaigns and put it into practice at AADCH.