Asthma and allergy patients and their caregivers have a major stake in the debate over reforming the health care system. Over 20 million Americans have asthma and many more face allergic reactions. They may face challenges in affording treatment and preventive care. They may be limited in their treatment options if they lack health insurance. They want assurance that cost containment will not limit their access to treatments that are effective for them.
AAFA has endorsed the following statement on health care reform, a statement endorsed by all 48 organizations that are members of the National Health Council:
"The lack of effective health care coverage is one of the most important issues facing our nation. Nearly 50 million Americans have no coverage at all! Many more have coverage that does not provide for their basic health and long-term care needs. The problem is especially acute for Americans with a chronic disease or disability - the people we represent. We support health care that covers everyone, curbs costs responsibly, abolishes exclusions for pre-existing conditions, eliminates lifetime caps, and ensures long-term and end-of-life care. On behalf of the more than 133 million people with chronic diseases and disabilities and their family caregivers, we urge the Administration and Congress to enact specific solutions that guarantee effective and affordable health and long-term care coverage for all Americans."
AAFA may take positions and send letters to key lawmakers to advance the interests of asthma and allergy patients. We will post our positions on our website, www.aafa.org.
AAFA is working closely other groups that share our interests. For instance, we have joined with NHC's Government Relations Affinity Group (GRAG) to execute our health reform strategy. This approach extends AAFA's reach by giving us access to NHC's expertise as we collaborate with government relations staff from the other NHC member organizations that comprise this very effective GRAG assembly. As a group, we have developed extensive background materials, a strategy, and action plan for addressing health reform proposals in Congress. As we collaborate by sharing information, ideas and resources, we are not obligated to follow NHC or any other organization in lockstep.