Advocacy Summit Day 2 Highlights: Advocates Meet with State and Federal Policymakers to Share Their Stories

Day two of the Advocacy Summit started with lots of chatter about the Trump administration’s unveiling of repeal and replace health care legislation.

Several aspects of the bill align with our Patient Principles for Health Care which outlines four principles that, if adopted, will result in a transparent health care system that allows easier access to more affordable care. The bill includes language that prevents denying coverage for people with preexisting conditions, bans lifetime coverage caps and allows young people to remain on their parent’s insurance plans until they turn 26-years-old – all good news for the arthritis community!

Ruby Advocacy Summit
Ruby Rollins, AL

As Summit attendees evaluated and weighed the pros and cons of the bill, they confidently prepared for their meetings with Members of Congress later in the day. Because of our solid reputation and strong Advocates, 247 meetings were scheduled with 128 republicans and 117 democrats. Almost 100 percent of meetings requested were secured!

Ruby Rollings is 18-years-old and was diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis when she was 14-years-old. She traveled alone from Albertville, Alabama, to advocate for herself and her family. She is an Ambassador in our advocacy program and talked with her legislators about the high cost of medications and need for more pediatric rheumatologists.

Amy Barron Advocacy Summit
Amy Barron, OH

Amy Barron is from Cincinnatti, Ohio and met with Representative Steve Chabot (R-OH) who invited Amy to sit at his desk for a picture. Amy is one of 41 Advocates who earned 2016 Platinum Ambassador status and was recognized at last night’s awards program.

As the day ended, Summit attendees began their long treks home, happy with their experience in Washington, DC, and empowered to continue advocating on behalf of the arthritis community as the Trump administration’s repeal and replace health care legislation is evaluated.

“The Foundation gives us hope and family, and equips us for life,” remarked Staci Penner, recipient of the 2016 Edward M. Kennedy Advocacy Award. “Now is an important time to raise our voices for all people with arthritis.”

Arthritis Foundation Advocates are volunteers who have been personally affected by arthritis and want to make a real and meaningful difference for the arthritis community. Using their personal arthritis stories, they meet with state and federal policymakers, helping them better understand the devastating effects of arthritis, and how they can improve access and the cost of health care. As repeal and replace health care legislation begins to evolve, it’s now more important than ever to stand up, tell your story and be heard. Join the Advocate program today!

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