The US COPD Coalition (USCC) is pleased to learn that three members of the US House of Representatives have recently joined the Congressional COPD Caucus. Rep. John Lewis, Co-Chair of the Caucus, has announced that Representatives Bill Posey (R-FL), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE), and Ben McAdams (D-UT) have agreed to add their support to COPD initiatives in Congress by joining the Caucus.
The bi-partisan, bi-cameral Congressional COPD Caucus is a forum for members of Congress to discuss the needs of the 16-30 million Americans with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and to advance solutions that will improve their health and quality of life while reducing the impacts of the disease on the healthcare system.
Since its formation in 2004, the Congressional COPD Caucus has a strong record in introducing, supporting, and passing legislation that improves the lives of those with COPD and improving our nation’s health. The COPD Caucus has been successful in easing air travel for those with supplemental oxygen, growing access to pulmonary rehabilitation for Medicare beneficiaries, and encouraging enhanced data collection that has made it possible to understand more about COPD’s impact.
Most recently, the COPD Caucus was instrumental in moving the process forward to create a National Action Plan for COPD that now serves as a framework for public and private action that can create a transformational phase in the fight against COPD. The Caucus’ role in urging the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop this plan greatly accelerated our nation’s response to the growing burden of COPD.
The Caucus has been vital to many of the COPD initiatives passed in recent years. but there is much more that could be accomplished if more members of Congress joined the Caucus. There are currently 26 Representatives and 11 Senators in the Caucus. It is imperative that the Caucus grows its membership!
The addition of the three latest members of Congress to the Caucus did not happen in a vacuum. Members of the COPD community actively worked to convince their members of Congress of the value of joining the Caucus. That type of grassroots advocacy works! USCC is asking everyone affected by COPD to invite their members of Congress to join the COPD Caucus and show their dedication to the COPD community. Click on this link to ask your Representatives and Senators to be a Member of the Congressional COPD Caucus: COPD Action Center – Congressional COPD Caucus.
To see the list of Caucus members, click here.