Advocacy

Advocacy in Action

December 13, 2019

Breaking News

Senior Appropriators in the House and Senate announced a "deal in principle" to move all 12 of the FY2020 Appropriations bills before the holidays. The deal — reached just hours after a meeting between Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, House Appropriations Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey (D-NY) and Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby (R-AL)— ends months of tense negotiations that revolved around border wall funding. As we have reported previously, unless Congress takes action by December 20, we could face a government shutdown. We have been steadily advocating that Congress pass a final appropriations bill, not another stopgap funding bill, and provide at least a $2 billion increase for NIH, so this would represent a big win. However, details regarding specific funding levels are not available and we expect we will not see bill language until the week of December 16, just before a vote. And as always, enactment will require a signature by an unpredictable President Trump. But this is obviously a welcome step.

Take Action

Now is truly “crunch time” and we need all Endocrine Society members to join our new online advocacy campaign urging Congress to pass a final appropriations bill before December 20 with an increase for NIH.


Congress Now Planning a Five-Year Extension of the Special Diabetes Program

This week Congress announced its plans to include a five-year extension of the Special Diabetes Program (SDP)in an end-of-year legislative package. This would be a significant achievement in improving the lives of over 114 million Americans living with or at-risk for developing diabetes who have benefited from SDP. It also reflects a big advocacy win for the Endocrine Society as we have been working throughout the year with our members (Hill Days, congressional visits, congressional briefings) to gain an extension of this critical program.

Take Action

Our work is not done yet. Congress must pass this legislation before December 20 to ensure the program does not expire. Help us cross the finish line by joining our new online advocacy campaign urging your Representative and Senators to support a five-year extension of SDP!


Drug Pricing Bill Passes House of Representatives

On December 12 the House of Representatives passed Democrats' long-promised drug price negotiation bill (HR 3), a key campaign platform for the party and a policy they have been trying to enact for 16 years.

The bill would require the government to negotiate the cost of up to 250 brand-name drugs that do not have competition and cost the US health care system the most money. There is, however, a special provision to include insulin as well. As Speaker Pelosi and other Representatives were developing this legislation, we continued to call on Congress to address insulin pricing. Additional provisions would cap the maximum price of a covered drug so that it would not be more than 120 percent of the average price charged in other industrialized countries that pay less than the US; penalize drug makers who raise prices faster than inflation; and expand Medicare benefits.

While the House voted to advance the bill, the Republican-led Senate will not take it up and President Trump said he would not support it. The focus will now turn to the Senate to see if President Trump can mobilize Republicans in that chamber to move forward with a different drug pricing bill. The White House’s preferred measure, from Finance Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (R-IA), however, only has public support from nine other Republicans, including two who voiced concerns about it.

Early in the year, some believed a grand bargain on drug pricing might be possible, given the shared interest by President Trump, Republicans like Senator Grassley, and Speaker Pelosi, but actually enacting a major compromise that will significantly reduce drug prices is not likely this year. At this point, there is more momentum behind other health care issues and more modest drug pricing changes that could be tucked into a year-end spending bill. Reaching a broader compromise in 2020, in the wake of impeachment and against the backdrop of the presidential campaign, would depend on how badly House Democrats, Senate Republicans and President Trump want to show more progress on drug prices before the election. For our part, we continue to advocate that Congress must address the price of insulin immediately and we continue to provide feedback on legislative proposals.


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Join us in lending your voice to our online advocacy to support our policy priorities, endocrinology, and science. Contact your U.S representatives or European Members of Parliament through our online platform. Take action and make a difference today.

Join us in lending your voice to our online advocacy to support our policy priorities, endocrinology, and science. Contact your U.S representatives or European Members of Parliament through our online platform. Take action and make a difference today.

Member Spotlight

Advocating for Better Policies and Regulations

Barbara Demeneix, B.Sc., PhD, D.Sc
Professor Demeneix has been a tireless scientist and advocate for more protective policies that will improve public and ecological health.  We thank her for her leadership and dedication!

Barbara Demeneix, BSc, PhD, DSc

Professor Demeneix has been a tireless scientist and advocate for more protective policies that will improve public and ecological health.  We thank her for her leadership and dedication!

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