Call your Senators who serve on the HELP Committee

Posted Monday, Jul 23, 2018

On Wednesday, July 25, 2018, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee will be holding a markup of the Congenital Heart Futures Reauthorization Act (CHFRA). As you know, ACHA has been working hard to advocate in support of the bill for the past several years and we are thrilled that the Senate version of CHFRA is moving through the legislative process.

CHFRA is important because it allows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) to build upon and expand their existing surveillance and research activities related to congenital heart disease (CHD). In particular, the bill will benefit the CHD community in these ways: 

  • Assessing the research needs and existing projects related to CHDs at NIH will allow us to better understand the current state of biomedical research and what gaps may exist.
  • Expanding the CDC’s surveillance activities will facilitate understanding of CHD across the lifespan, including healthcare utilization and demographics, leading to evidence-based practices and guidelines for CHDs. 
  • Authorizing an awareness, outreach and education campaign at the CDC will help educate people with CHDs and their families about their ongoing risk of complications and ensure that more people stay in care as they age.
We need your help!  We need all ACHA Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) Activists (advocating for those affected by CHD) whose Senators serve on the HELP Committee (list below) to call them and ask them to support the bill in the upcoming markup on Wednesday.  If you live in one of the relevant states, please call your Senator today!

Name of Senator

State

 

Name of Senator

State

Lisa Murkowski

AK

Richard Burr

NC

Doug Jones

AL

Maggie Hassan

NH

Michael F. Bennet

CO

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

PA

Christopher S. Murphy

CT

Tim Scott

SC

Johnny Isakson

GA

Lamar Alexander

TN

Todd Young

IN

Orrin G. Hatch

UT

Pat Roberts

KS

Tim Kaine

VA

Rand Paul

KY

Bernard Sanders

VT

Bill Cassidy

LA

Patty Murray

WA

Elizabeth Warren

MA

Tammy Baldwin

WI

Susan Collins

ME

Michael B. Enzi

WY

Tina Smith

MN

 

 

Part 1 - Find your Senators: 

  • Visit www.Senate.gov and select your state from the drop-down menu bar next to the American flag at the top of the page. This will take you to a page with phone and email contact information for your two Senators. You may also call the Congressional Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask them to connect you to your Senator’s office.

Part 2A - Call your Senator with the following message:

(Be sure to indicate where you live and add your own personal connection with CHD): 

  • I am one of your constituents and I am calling because of an issue that is very personal to me, congenital heart disease (CHD). Please share how CHD has impacted your life.
  • Because of my personal experience, or the personal experience of my family member/friend/loved one, I support the Congenital Heart Futures Reauthorization Act, (S. 477). CHFRA reauthorizes important CHD activities at the CDC and NIH that will ensure that we know more about CHDs and can improve treatments for affected people across their lifespan.
  • CHD doesn’t just affect me/my family. In fact, CHD is the most common category of birth defects, affecting more than 1 million children and 1.4 million adults. Individuals born with CHDs require lifelong, costly specialized care, making this a public health issue as well.
  • I hope that the Senator will support the bill during the HELP Committee markup on Wednesday.
  • Thank you!

Part 2B: Send an Email to your Senators

Below is a template message for you to paste into your Senator’s contact form or send via email. Please enter the appropriate information in the highlighted areas and personalize the message to share why CHD research and surveillance is important to you!

Email Template

Dear Senator XX,

I live in your state and I am writing on behalf of the millions of people across the nation affected by a congenital heart disease (CHD) to ask that you support the Congenital Heart Futures Reauthorization Act (CHFRA - S. 477) in the upcoming markup in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. 

CHD is the most common category of birth defects, affecting more than 2.4 million children and adults today. Children, adolescents, and adults with CHD require lifelong, ongoing, specialized cardiac care and face increased risk of disability, co-morbidities, and premature death.

CHFRA will allow the CDC and NIH to build upon current successful surveillance and research programs related to CHDs. It is so important to me and the broader CHD community that we better understand CHDs across the lifespan – both to address a costly and critical public health issue and to improve the care and health of affected people.

I hope that you will support CHFRA in the upcoming HELP Committee markup. The House passed its version of the bill earlier this year and we respectfully request that the Senate follow suit so that CHFRA will become law in 2018.

Thank you!

 

Let us know about your interactions! Please contact Danielle Hile at ACHA (dhile@achaheart.org) to let her know any responses or continuing dialogue you have with your Senators.

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