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Welcome 117th Congress – Issues Impacting the Chronic Care Community

The Chronic Care Policy Alliance welcomed the 117th Congress and shared key issues that would advance the wellbeing of those in the chronic care community. Read the full letter:

Dear Legislator,

On behalf of the Chronic Care Policy Alliance, I’m pleased to welcome you to the 117th Congress. We look forward to working with you to protect access to affordable, high-quality, patient-centered healthcare to ensure a better quality of life for patients living with chronic illnesses.

Chronic Care Policy Alliance (CCPA) is a network of state and regional advocacy organizations advancing public policy that improves the lives of those living with chronic conditions and diseases. Six in 10 Americans suffer from a chronic condition, and four in 10 suffer from two or more. CCPA is committed to advocating for healthcare policy that effectively addresses the needs of these individuals living with chronic disease, while reducing health care disparities that create undue and significant hurdles for patients in need. We believe it is critical that all patients have equal access to health care services independent of age, ethnicity, socio-economic status or health status.

Throughout the year, we will reach out to you on key issues that impact the quality and effectiveness of insurance that patients depend on, both public and private, and the care they can access.

As Congress gets underway, we would like to bring to your attention some key issues that significantly affect the chronic disease community. CCPA engages heavily on each of these issues, as policy outcomes in these areas will directly affect the wellbeing of chronic disease patients throughout the country:

Prioritizing Patients: Our healthcare system is complicated by many stakeholders with competing interests; therefore, it is critical that Congress ensure that reforms benefit the intended party – the patients.

  • Copay accumulators: Millions of patients with chronic disease rely on copay assistance programs to afford their medication. Copay accumulator programs threaten copay assistance and will raise costs for vulnerable patients who rely on their medication to maintain their quality of life.
  • Rebate reform: Rebates negotiated in the health marketplace should be passed along to patients directly rather than retained by middlemen like pharmacy benefit managers.

Protecting Access: To manage their chronic conditions, patients must have reliable and broad access to treatments. We urge Congress to ensure that reforms do not make it more difficult for patients to attain treatments, limit their options, or increase their costs.

  • “Six Protected Classes”: Medicare’s six protected classes policy ensures patients with complex chronic conditions can access the treatments they need and CCPA strongly opposes any efforts to weaken a rule that helps ensure patients can access personalized, effective treatments.
  • Step therapy: Step therapy requires patients to jump try and fail less effective treatment options and can ultimately harm efforts to control serious conditions. CCPA opposes these and other unnecessary and bureaucratic measures to limit patient access to the medications they need.

Providing Resources: Education is key to ensuring that patients can advocate for and maintain their health. We strive to empower patients through information and resources.

  • COVID-19 information and vaccine guidance Your Vaccination Guide: In partnership with the Healthcare Leadership Council, we are creating a consumer guide for immunizations and COVID-19 that will educate the public about the importance and safety of vaccinations, including the COVID 19 vaccine.
  • My Patient Rights: CCPA works closely with our sister organization My Patient Rights to help patients who have been denied treatment or medicines, experiences delays or are dissatisfied with the decisions made by their health plan to advocate for themselves and access the care they need.

The new legislative session brings forth new opportunities to advocate for some of the most vulnerable among our population. We look forward to collaborating with you to advance the wellbeing of those with chronic disease, promote patient-centered health policy, and prioritize health equity for individuals throughout this country. Should you have any questions about CCPA’s work, please do not hesitate to contact me via email or phone at: lizh@chroniccarealliance.org.

Thank you,

Liz Helms


Chronic Care Policy Alliance