Through its lobbying and advocacy efforts, ABC raises awareness among policymakers about the cause, impact, and consequences of neurologic and psychiatric illness. Our broad advocacy focus appeals to all member groups whether it be advocating for sufficient funding allocations for biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH is seeking to improve the health care system to better serve people with chronic illnesses); searching for new and effective ways to continue to address the cost, availability and quality of care; and promoting the understanding of the responsible use of animals in research and its importance to groundbreaking discoveries that lead to more successful treatments of brain disorders.
The American Brain Coalition provided comments on the proposed Part B Drug Payment Model to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). As you may be aware, the comment period for the proposed rule closed on May 9, 2016. The issues that have been raised about the proposed rule, including from numerous ABC members, and the ongoing conversation in DC about the new payment model warranted the ABC’s careful consideration about whether to submit comments about our own concerns even though the formal deadline had passed. The Advocacy Committee worked to collect information, reviewed the comments submitted by ABC members, and concluded that the ABC should write a letter in support of the requests made by ABC members that also reiterated our concerns regarding the potential negative consequences that the proposed payment model would have on patient access to physician-administered medications. The ABC will continue monitoring this policy issue and is committed to ensuring that ABC members are included in the conversation if CMS explores an alternative pathway forward.
- The American Brain Coalition has submitted letters to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, as well as the House Energy and Commerce Committee thanking them for their efforts to find solutions that will improve our nation’s approach to mental health.
- ABC submitted a letter to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions to inform their work to develop a legislative package to address barriers to innovation. Also, read our letter to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on the 21st Century Cures Act.
- ABC supports the Advancing Research for Neurological Diseases Act of 2015 and is working to ensure that the bill’s language is included in the Senate’s companion bill to the 21st Century Cures Act.
- ABC, along with other leading organizations, wrote a letter in support of the Mental Health Awareness and Semipostal Stamp Act.
- We provide members with biweekly science advocacy and news updates. Check out highlights from our eNewletters.
The ABC Capitol Hill Toolkit is now available! We are excited to offer our members the advocacy tools you need to ensure a successful meeting with your member of Congress or legislative staff. Members of Congress and their staff want to understand the impacts of issues that are important to their constituents. This toolkit will help give guidance on how to conduct a visit and tips for success during and after the meeting, including pertinent information to enhance the content of your message. We have also included a section on Effective Advocacy Outside of Washington, DC. We hope this Toolkit will make advocacy for brain research and healthcare for our members as easy as possible.
Visit our Advocacy Tools page for more resources to use in your grassroots efforts.
ABC’s focus for 2016 includes four priorities. They are:
- Increased funding for biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- Improving health care for chronic conditions particular to the brain
- Eliminate restrictions on federally funded stem cell research
- Supporting the ethical use of animals in research
Please visit our Position Papers section to learn more about these issues and ABC’s recommendations.
We want to hear about your advocacy successes! Please submit your story, indicating your state of residence in the subject line to: firstname.lastname@example.org