Welcome to your February advocacy update. I’m Jenna Riemenschneider, director of advocacy at the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). I am pictured above with AAFA board member Renuka Babu Brown and Senator Ed Markey's (D-MA) policy advisor Adam Axler.
Over-the-Counter Drug Access and Cleaner Cars Rollbacks
AAFA and other members of the Healthy Choices Coalition met with Representative Judy Chu's office. We asked her to co-sponsor the Restoring Access to Medication Act of 2019 bill (H.R. 1922). This bill would allow you to buy over-the-counter (OTC) medicines with tax-preferred savings accounts. These types of accounts are flexible spending arrangements (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs).
AAFA and other groups met with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). These groups included the American Lung Association, the American Public Health Association and the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments. We let the OMB know we oppose the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Rule. If passed, this rule would increase the burning of fossil fuels and harmful pollution. The steps would roll back vehicle emissions and efficiency standards during 2021 to 2026. These rollbacks would put the health and safety of people with asthma and allergies at risk.
Capitol Hill Meetings
On Feb. 7, 2020, 13 of AAFA's board members met with 26 members of Congress. During these meetings, they asked them to support the following bills. If passed, they would help stop the increase of asthma and allergy rates. They would also reduce asthma deaths nationwide.
- $34 million in 2021 for the National Asthma Control Program (NACP)
- School-Based Allergies and Asthma Management Program Act (H.R. 2468)
- Elijah Cummings Family Asthma Act (H.R. 5230)
- Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act (H.R. 2117)
Letters of Support
AAFA signed four letters of support or comment last month on these topics:
- Medicine access
- Restaurant safety
- Updated asthma guidelines
Read summaries of each letter on our Positions and Statements page.
- AAFA Sends Letter Supporting Food Allergy Awareness Act HB 1102– Jan. 16, 2020
- AAFA Sends Comment Letter Regarding the Proposed Updates to the Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma, EPR-4– Jan. 17, 2020
- AAFA Sends Letter Supporting Santa Clara County’s Subsidized Medication Pilot Program– Jan. 27, 2020
- AAFA Sends Letter Supporting S.B. 530– Jan. 30, 2020
Contact me with questions or comments! To send a message to me, click my name at the top of this blog post and send me a private message.