Today, the president released the administration’s official budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2018, which would make deep cuts to health programs across health agencies and would have severe implications for Medicaid and other programs that deliver vital health care services to people with arthritis. While the Arthritis Foundation agrees that health care reform is necessary and our country needs to make important spending decisions, it should not be at the expense of people with arthritis, which now affects one in four Americans and the prevalence is growing.
Things on the health care front are moving fast. Last week, the House voted to pass the American Health Care Act, a bill that changes several key features of the Affordable Care Act (also called “Obamacare”). The bill has moved on to the Senate where it could be voted on, as is, or amended and sent back to the House for further consideration.
Continue reading The American Health Care Act: What You Need to Know
Earlier today, the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA). We are concerned that the bill threatens access to affordable care for the chronically ill, including those who live with arthritis.
As the Senate considers the AHCA, we will work to amend the bill to make it truly patient-centered, but we need your help to send the message to legislators that the AHCA, as it sits today, is unacceptable for the 54 million Americans who live with arthritis, and the many more who have other chronic illnesses. Join our Advocate program today!
Continue reading House of Representatives Passes American Health Care Act – We Need Your Help to Amend AHCA When it Goes to the Senate
The 2015 Arthritis Industry Forum (AIF) was held Oct. 7-8 in Washington, DC, convening stakeholders from the pharmaceutical, biotech and academic fields – along with federal agency and Capitol Hill staff – to discuss vital policy issues around arthritis. Presentations ranged from fascinating discussion about the future of identifying biomarkers on individualized treatment regimens to a profoundly moving photography collection depicting people with disabilities boldly expressing their beauty and strength.
Arthritis Foundation CEO Ann Palmer spoke about the organization’s continued growth since last year’s forum, as well as increased efficiencies and effectiveness. “My vision is that we become the Amazon.com for the arthritis community,” said Palmer, “a one-stop personalized destination for those affected by the disease to find resources, connect with their local communities, receive tailored help and get the advice they need to overcome everyday battles.”
Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia and Governor Bill Haslam of Tennessee have both signed biosimilar legislation into law. Arthritis Foundation Advocates actively lobbied for both bills, meeting with legislators, testifying at hearings, writing letters, making phone calls and working to put patient safety issues associated with biosimilars in front of the media.
The legislation will allow biosimilar medicines to be marketed in these states. The new laws also require notifying patients and prescribers when biosimilars are dispensed instead of biologics. Biologics have been vital for people with arthritis – increasing mobility, reducing pain and improving overall quality of life.