The Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) is taking 300 or so individuals with lupus to Congress. Bringing the word to Congress that "increased funding for sound biomedical research and education programs is critical to finding the causes of and eventually a cure for lupus" the LFA is taking people with lupus along with their families and health professionals from 37 states to Washington, DC on March 11 for its Tenth Annual "Advocacy Day".
LFA advocates have successfully stimulated a number of programs which have greatly expanded federal efforts to address lupus. From a small beginning ten years ago, the LFA nationwide grassroots network has grown substantially to approximately 80,000 lupus advocates, supporters and volunteers from every state in the country. These advocates send letters and email messages, make telephone calls, and visit congressional offices to educate elected officials on the impact of lupus.
LFA advocates have been effective in advancing lupus research and education programs conducted by the federal government, including:
  • coordinating efforts among the various federal agencies with an interest in lupus;
  • securing millions of dollars for the first-ever comprehensive national epidemiological study on lupus;
  • opening new sources of federal funding for biomedical research on lupus;
  • obtaining changes in draft Social Security Disability regulations which will enable more people disabled by lupus to receive benefits;
  • securing changes to regulations governing the Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Benefit to pay for prescription drugs required to treat lupus;
  • partnering with various agencies of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to increase public recognition of the serious consequences of lupus.
During LFA’s 2008 Advocacy Day, advocates will urge lawmakers to support the Lupus Research, Education, Awareness, Communications, and Healthcare (REACH) Amendments Act (H.R. 1192 and S. 1359). The legislation, introduced by Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-FL) and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) in the House and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Senator Robert Bennett (R-UT) in the Senate, when enacted will further federal efforts to combat lupus, address gaps in research, and heighten awareness of lupus symptoms and health effects among the public and health professionals.


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