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Each year ACR’s Government Affairs Committee decides which issues they will take to the Hill on behalf of the ACR/ARHP membership. The ACR is active on these issues in a variety of ways including: supporting legislation, joining coalitions, writing letters and lobbying Congress.
Elimination of Tier IV Coinsurance
View ACR’s Handout on Specialty Tiers >
View ACR’s Infographic on Specialty Tiers >
Arthritis, the nation's leading cause of disability, costs the U.S. $128 billion each year.
The American College of Rheumatology strongly urges Congress to maintain current funding for federal programs engaged in vital research to combat arthritis and related rheumatic diseases. The number of people with arthritis and released diseases is projected to be 67 million by 2030.
Specifically, ACR supports $32 billion for NIH, $13 million for the CDC Arthritis Program, and $20 million for a dedicated arthritis research program at the DOD.
Medical Research Improves the Health of Millions of Americans
Cuts to the national medical research budget deny hope to millions of patients and families struggling with rheumatic diseases. The U.S. leads the world in development of medical therapies, but budget cuts will dramatically slow down or halt progress.
Examples of federally funded projects directly benefiting patients and families suffering from rheumatic diseases:
Support Biomedical Research and Our Nation's Economy
Federal funding not only supports important biomedical research in rheumatic diseases, but also provides an economic stimulus to communities nationwide in the form of jobs and customers for local businesses. NIH awards and grants alone support over 350,000 jobs across the country. With continued advancements, the economy can look forward to long term stimulation through patents, devices, and new therapies and treatments.
NIH Support is Critical for Maintaining Our Nation's Medical and Scientific Workforce
NIH career development research and training grants support young trainees in the early stages of their research careers as gain experience to become independent researchers and medical school faculty throughout the country. Workforce studies by the ACR project a large faculty shortage for training the next generation of physicians in arthritis and rheumatic disease. NIH budget cuts would impact the U.S. academic research and training environment and would be detrimental to the entire medical profession and the patient communities they serve.
View ACR’s Handout on Biomedical Research >
All across America, patients are unable to access vital healthcare services due to overly restrictive insurer practices. Patients deserve access to care, accurate and timely information, and transparency from their health insurance plans. Physicians should be able to treat their patients and prescribe medications based on their medical expertise and individual patient needs.
Insurance companies are unfairly limiting patient access to needed doctors and medications through excessive prior authorization requirements, changing of drug formularies, mandating of step therapy, shifting specialty drugs to higher tiers, dropping providers from networks without just cause, limiting reimbursement for services, and more.
These practices may result in short term profits, but risk long-term health of patients and can lead to higher overall costs down the road.
View ACR’s Handout on Narrow Networks and Insurer Practices >