Dear Friends of CAP,
Another historic week in hepatitis! Last week the first protease inhibitor for HCV was approved by the FDA and HHS unveiled its long awaited plan for addressing Viral Hepatitis. COMBATING THE SILENT EPIDEMIC of VIRAL HEPATITIS Action Plan for the Prevention, Care & Treatment of Viral Hepatitis. The plan is very comprehensive and will help to reduce the burden if it is funded and implemented. The briefing in the House hosted by Senator Kerry and Congressman Honda was packed, standing room only! Six members of Congress spoke eloquently about the problem but made it very clear that it will take a lot of hard work by all of us to get this plan funded. Please let your elected officials know about the plan and that you expect them to support the plan by funding it. They need to hear from you now. The 2012 budget is open for discussion but not for long.
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Urge Your Members of Congress to Attend Historic Viral Hepatitis Congressional Briefing
On Thursday, May 12th, Congressman Mike Honda and Senator John Kerry will hold a Congressional briefing entitled “Combating the Hidden Epidemic: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Action Plan for the Prevention and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis.” This briefing will inform Members of Congress and their staff about the long–awaited report from HHS that will detail the federal government’s strategy for combating hepatitis B and C in the United States.
The release of this report and the briefing offer a tremendous opportunity to change the course of the viral hepatitis epidemic in the U.S. and demonstrate Congressional leadership in moving forward a comprehensive prevention and treatment strategy.
We need as many Members of Congress and their staff to attend this briefing to show their commitment to implement and fund the HHS plan. You can help make this happen by making three important phone calls right now!
How you can make a difference:
Call the Capitol Switchboard toll-free at 1-888-876-6242 and ask to be connected to your U.S. Representative. When you are connected, ask for the staff person who handles health care issues. Whether you speak directly to the staff person or leave a message, tell him/her:
“My name is _____________ and I live in (city/state). I am calling to urge Representative _____________ to attend a Congressional briefing on fighting the viral hepatitis epidemic in the United States. This important briefing will outline the new HHS “Action Plan for the Prevention and Treatment of Viral Hepatitis.” The briefing will be held on Thursday, May 12th, from 9:30 – 11:00 am in 210 Cannon House Office Building. Please contact Meina Banh in Congressman Mike Honda’s office for more information and to register. In the next 10 years, about 150,000 people in the United States are projected to die from liver cancer and liver disease associated with chronic hepatitis B and C. I strongly urge your office to participate in this briefing and show your commitment to fighting these preventable diseases.”
Next, call both of your two U.S. Senators (using the Capitol Switchboard number) and deliver the same message to their health care staff. You can also ask the staff person for his/her email address and forward the attached “Dear Colleague” letter with more information about the briefing.
Thank you for taking the time to make a difference!
This Action Alert was created by the Hepatitis Appropriations Partnership, the National Task Force on Hepatitis B: Focus on AAPIs, and the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable.
Act Now to Impact Viral Hepatitis C
FEDERAL VIRAL HEPATITIS LEGISLATION NEEDS YOUR SUPPORT
The Viral Hepatitis and Liver Cancer Control and Prevention Act is essential federal legislation needed to help bring the viral hepatitis crisis under control.
We need to tell our elected officials that we want them to vote for the passage of this bill!
Who should respond?
All persons affected by HBV or HCV or concerned about the hepatitis B or C crisis including:
When to respond? Immediately
How to respond
Write a letter to your Congressional representatives:
IMPORTANT: When you e-mail a Senator or Representatives, it is important to send it through the webform address listed at his/her site. If your email does not come through in this form, it will most likely be deleted as junk e-mail.
Remember, YOUR elected officials need to hear from YOU that viral hepatitis is a problem.
Hepatitis C can show no symptoms until advanced liver damage develops.