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Due to ongoing concerns regarding public gatherings and the impact COVID-19 had on in-person legislative visits, Hemophilia Federation of America restructured its annual Patient Fly-In and Congressional Reception experience to an online campaign that took place over the course Nov. 16-20.

With that in mind, Congressional visits by patients took place virtually over Nov. 19-20. Participants from HFA鈥檚 Young Adult Advocacy Summit, in addition to other community members, asked Senators and Representatives to advance policies to make quality health care adequate, affordable, and accessible for all, including people with bleeding disorders. Participants explained that this would entail: protecting the ability of people with pre-existing conditions to obtain coverage; requiring insurance plans to cover an appropriate scope of health benefits; maintaining financial protections against the 聽potentially catastrophic costs of chronic illness; and expanding and protecting public coverage for those who cannot afford private insurance.

In addition, HFA asked members of the House to support HR 7647, a bill that would enact a COVID-19 related delay regarding the implementation of accumulator adjusters. The bill recognizes that many people across the U.S. have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and may as a result face difficulty in affording their medications. For the duration of the pandemic, and for one year afterward, HR 7647 therefore generally requires private health insurance plans to count the value of copay assistance programs toward a patient’s annual out-of-pocket limit.

Bleeding disorders community members can still participate in these grassroots efforts by calling, writing, or using social media to reach out to their Congressional delegation to ask for their support of HR 7647 and the need for quality, affordable health coverage for people with bleeding disorders. Using HFA鈥檚 Legislative Action Center, it is as easy as a few clicks of the mouse to participate!

HFA also hosted a Congressional Reception and Conversation on November 17 to honor members of Congress who have done extraordinary work for those with chronic and expensive conditions. Each of the honorees received the HFA Congressional Champion Award. HFA is pleased to honor these lawmakers for their work to improve access and reduce barriers to care.

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Rep. Rodney Davis. Rodney Davis represents the 13th District of Illinois, a 14-county district covering both urban and rural areas of Central and Southwestern Illinois. Prior to being elected, Rep. Davis served as Projects Director for Congressman John Shimkus (IL-15) for 16 years helping Illinois citizens and communities cut through government red tape and secure federal funding.

Since the age of seven, Rep. Davis has lived in Taylorville, where he attended public school. He continued his education in central Illinois and graduated with honors from Millikin University in Decatur.

While growing up, Rep. Davis worked in his parents鈥 restaurant, so he鈥檚 seen first-hand the daily challenges faced by small business owners. In his role as Projects Director for Congressman John Shimkus, Rep. Davis became intimately familiar with the role that the federal government plays in our communities, where it can help, and where it can hurt. He was instrumental in helping Illinois citizens and communities cut through government red tape and works daily to provide support and relief to a wide array of important local projects.

On July 16聽this year, Rep. Davis, as an original co-sponsor, introduced HR 7647, a bill that would enact a COVID-19 related delay regarding annual limitation on cost-sharing for group health plans and individual and small group health insurance coverage, saying, 鈥淧atients should not face even more financial barriers to receiving the drugs they need to stay healthy, especially during this pandemic, and particularly for those with chronic conditions who are vulnerable to COVID-19.鈥 HFA is proud to recognize Rep. Davis for his leadership in efforts to reduce the burdens of copay accumulator programs for the rare and chronic conditions community.

 

Rep. Eric Swalwell. Growing up in what now is California鈥檚 Fifteenth Congressional District taught Eric Swalwell a lot about hard work, strong principles, and planning for a brighter future.

The oldest of four boys and son to Eric Sr., a retired police officer, and Vicky, who works as an administrative assistant, Rep. Swalwell was raised and attended public schools in the East Bay. A Division I soccer scholarship was his ticket to becoming the first person in his family to go to college. During college, he worked as an unpaid intern in the office of his representative, Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher, and so was on Capitol Hill on Sept. 11, 2001. This inspired his first legislative achievement: using his Student Government Association position to create a public-private college scholarship program for students who lost parents in the attacks.

After earning undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Maryland, Rep. Swalwell returned to the East Bay to serve as a prosecutor in the Alameda County District Attorney鈥檚 Office for seven years. He also served as chairman of the Dublin Heritage & Cultural Arts Commission, on the Dublin Planning Commission, and was elected to the Dublin City Council.

Rep. Swalwell in 2012 was elected to represent California鈥檚 Fifteenth Congressional District, which includes a large part of the East Bay.

In February 2020, Rep. Swalwell was one of the original founders of the Congressional Personalized Medicine Caucus, which was formed with the goal of reminding other Members of Congress that precision medicine and other new technologies can help lower costs for patients. The bicameral, bipartisan caucus seeks to expand support for, and knowledge of, personalized medicine by enhancing public awareness of the field and advocating for policies in support of its advancement. HFA is proud to recognize Rep. Swalwell for his leadership in the field of personalized medicine and helping to make customizable health care attainable and accessible for all Americans.

 

 

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