Advocacy

Advocacy in Action

December 02, 2021

Averting Medicare Physician Payment Cuts

For the last several months we have advocated that Congress needs to avert the Medicare physician payment cuts scheduled to go into effect January 1, 2022.  These cuts would significantly affect endocrinologists’ payment by almost 10%.  To learn more about the policies that will lead to these cuts, read this fact sheet.

We have met with congressional offices and sent letters to congressional leadership.  Now we need your help to urge your Representative and Senators to support legislation to avert the cutsIf you are a physician in practice and see Medicare beneficiaries, please join our online advocacy campaign TODAY to help us put pressure on the Congress. We believe if we can increase the noise about the effect of these cuts, Congress will take action by the end of the month.

Increasing Funding for NIH

With only hours to spare before funding expired and the government would have had to shut-down, the Senate cleared a temporary spending bill Thursday night that would keep the lights on at federal agencies through February 18, buying 11 more weeks to try to resolve partisan disputes over funding levels and policy riders that have stalled progress on fiscal 2022 appropriations.  The temporary funding measure passed the House earlier in the evening.  Earlier in the day, however, it seemed like the government was headed to a shut-down as a group of Republican conservatives were threatening to bar funding to implement a new private sector vaccine mandate as well as requirements for federal employees, federal contractors, health care workers and the military.

The temporary funding measure, known as a continuing resolution (CR) allows the government to keep operating, but for most federal programs, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), funding is held to this year’s level and there are no increases.

The Endocrine Society has been one of the most vocal advocates for increasing funding for the NIH and for advocating that the Congress pass a final appropriations measure to fund the government through the fiscal 2022 year rather than temporary continuing resolutions.  We will continue to advocate for this as we near the February 18 deadlineIt will be critical that all Representatives and Senators hear from their constituent researchers about the value of NIH research and the adverse consequences of further CRs.  If you receive NIH funding, you can still take action on our online advocacy campaign and please stay turned for future advocacy activities to advocate for endocrine research.

Lowering the Cost of Insulin

Now that the House of Representatives passed its version of the Build Back Better Act, a massive legislative package that includes provisions that would lower the cost of insulin and allow the government to negotiate drug prices for certain prescription medications.  The Endocrine Society is calling on the Senate to pass these same provisions.  

The drug pricing provisions are at the heart of the health care agenda in a social spending bill. The Endocrine Society has long argued that insulin is the “poster child” for the need to address drug costs. Our members worked to educate Congress about the barriers people with diabetes face in accessing affordable insulin. We shared policy recommendations, testimony, and a collection of patient stories illustrating that people with diabetes continue to suffer due to the high price of insulin. Society members visited Congress, conducted educational briefings for congressional offices, and participated in grassroots campaigns.

The legislation specifically calls out insulin.  It would cap insulin co-pays at $35 per month for Medicare beneficiaries.  It also would institute an inflation cap to ensure that the price of insulin does not increase faster than inflation. Most significantly, the legislation would give the government authority to negotiate the price of insulin and other high-cost prescription medications. Democrats reached the agreement to allow Medicare to negotiate prices for a select number of drugs, with the negotiated prices taking effect in 2025, which the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected would save $78.8 billion between 2022 and 2031.  In response to industry claims that this would negatively affect innovation, the CBO projects that one fewer drug would come to market in the United States within the law's first decade, four fewer in the following decade and five fewer in the decade after that. Under current law, CBO estimates that about 1,300 drugs would be approved in the next 30 years.

The Senate plans to consider the legislation the week of December 13.  The Endocrine Society will launch advocacy activities that week and urges our US members to stay tuned and participate when the time comes. 

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We rely on your voice to advocate for our policy priorities. Join us to show our strength as a community that cares about endocrinology. Contact your U.S representatives or European Members of Parliament through our online platform. Take action and make a difference today.

We rely on your voice to advocate for our policy priorities. Join us to show our strength as a community that cares about endocrinology. Contact your U.S representatives or European Members of Parliament through our online platform. Take action and make a difference today.

Journals

The Best of Endocrine Society Journals 2020

Explore a collection of top articles published in the Endocrine Society journals in 2020, selected on the basis of citations, downloads, and Altmetric score.

Explore a collection of top articles published in the Endocrine Society journals in 2020, selected on the basis of citations, downloads, and Altmetric score.

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