April 28, 2017
GOP looks for support with new health care amendment
A new amendment introduced this week to the American Health Care Act is the Republicans’ latest effort to revive the bill after failing to secure enough support for the legislation last month in the House. The new amendment would allow states to define what is included in “essential health benefits” and then allow each state to apply for waivers to eliminate these services and cut costs. Getting rid of essential health benefits at the federal or state level would mean an end to vaccines, cancer screenings like mammograms and colonoscopies, and many other vital health care benefits, such as maternity, emergency and pediatric care.
The changes this bill would make to the Affordable Care Act would also have a devastating effect on cancer prevention, screening and early detection by eliminating the Prevention and Public Health Fund. Doing so would take money away from community organizations providing screenings and vaccinations to those who can’t afford them.
The bill also makes it harder for individuals to purchase insurance and makes major changes to Medicaid. Those who would be at the greatest risk of losing their coverage are the ones who need it the most; low-income individuals and those ages 50 or older, who are most in need of regular screenings.
There is no vote scheduled at this time, but we will be following this legislation closely. Click here to tell your member of Congress to protect coverage for millions of Americans and to protect prevention.
Why boys need the HPV vaccine, too
This week is World Immunization Week and the perfect time to remind you and your loved ones about the lifesaving power of vaccines, particularly as it relates to preventable viruses that can cause cancer.
Each year, approximately 26,800 new cases of cancer related to the human papillomavirus (HPV) are diagnosed, but data show only 40 percent of eligible girls and 22 percent of eligible boys have received the HPV vaccine. The low HPV vaccine uptake rate, particularly among young men, has led to an increase in oropharyngeal cancer rates. Oropharyngeal cancer is cancer in the middle part of the throat, including the base of the tongue, side and back walls of the throat and the tonsils. HPV causes about 75 percent of these cases and it is twice as common in men as women.
If your son is 11-12 years old, make sure he receives the HPV vaccine. Most men who have not been vaccinated can receive a catch-up vaccine until age 21.
To learn more about the link between viruses and cancer, visit ThinkAboutTheLink.org.
Advocacy Workshop at Dialogue conference
The Prevent Cancer Foundation’s Dialogue for Action® conference last week hosted a popular “Advocacy Workshop on Prevention.” The workshop featured leaders who have organized successful advocacy campaigns for health care access in their local communities, including Rick Shinn of the Virginia Community Health Association and Ana Grande of Clinica Romero in Los Angeles.
Shinn addressed the importance of identifying your champions, knowing your audience, staying on message and building relationships before you need them. Both Grande and Shinn talked about the impact of “story banking.” “Politics are local and you have to make it personal with legislators,” Shinn said. “Each patient story you get is a treasure and you are their advocate.”
Download our advocacy toolkit for more tips on building a successful program in your community.
Thank you to those able to call in last night! Mark your calendars for our next advocacy call Thursday, May 25, at 9 p.m. ET.
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