This summer, ASCO members continued their efforts to advocate for key issues that are critical to cancer care. ASCO members are uniquely qualified to communicate with Congress about effective policies for the treatment of patients with cancer and the research that drives scientific breakthroughs.
During the August 2016 congressional recess (also called the district work period), nearly two dozen ASCO members from across the country participated in advocacy meetings with their members of Congress. These meetings provide a unique opportunity for ASCO members to meet directly with their representatives in Congress, for their staffs to build stronger relationships, and to help lawmakers better understand the realities and challenges of cancer care.
In these meetings, ASCO members expressed opposition to the Medicare Part B demo and advocated for key policy priorities, including oral parity, federal funding for cancer research, and the interoperability of electronic health records.
While in-district meetings generally took place at the lawmakers’ district offices, some lawmakers joined ASCO members for site visits or facility tours at their practices—including Representative Joe Barton (R–Texas), who toured pathology labs and operating suites at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
ASCO Hosts Advocacy Summit on Capitol Hill
On September 21 and 22, ASCO members gathered on Capitol Hill to participate in ASCO’s first Advocacy Summit. Led by ASCO’s Government Relations Committee, the Advocacy Summit brought almost 70 ASCO members to Washington, DC, for education on the ins and outs of advocacy. They and their staffs also met directly with members of Congress and discussed policy priorities that are critical to providing high quality cancer care.
ASCO members met with more than 100 congressional offices to discuss important policy priorities, including the Medicare Part B demo, interoperability, and funding for the National Institutes of Health and National Cancer Institute, among other issues.
The Society thanks ASCO members who participated in the Advocacy Summit and in-district meetings with their representatives. To learn more about how you can get involved in ASCO’s advocacy work, visit http://www.asco.org/advocacy-policy. ■
© 2016. American Society of Clinical Oncology. All rights reserved.