The Congressional Arthritis Caucus
Arthritis is the nation’s leading cause of disability, and the Global Healthy Living Foundation, the Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations (CRSO), and the Arthritis Foundation recognize the impact that it has on the everyday lives of millions of individuals, making work, mobility, access to treatment, and pain management unnecessarily difficult. The Congressional Arthritis Caucus was created to advocate and raise awareness at the federal and local level for the avoidable barriers people face when living with arthritis.
Co-chaired by Representatives David McKinley (R-WV) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA), the Arthritis Caucus exists “to serve as a clearinghouse for arthritis information and a bipartisan forum to guide Members of Congress in working together to address arthritis.” Rep. Eshoo is a dedicated leader in healthcare and health policy, working endlessly on improving issues regarding insurance policies, food supply, research, children’s healthcare, and affordable treatment. Rep. McKinley strongly believes that people with chronic and disabling illnesses have to go through unfair challenges to meet their needs. Campaigning for the Patient Access to Treatments Act (PATA), Rep. McKinley strives to bring fairness to Americans who need life-saving treatments.
Partners within the Congressional Arthritis Caucus include the Center for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Defense. These are critical partnerships as they contribute to and influence vast populations effected by arthritis.
Current campaigns within the Congressional Arthritis Caucus advocate for issues concerning biosimilars, formulary transparency, narrow networks, out of pocket costs, prior authorization, and step therapy/fail first. With restless advocacy, members have been able to pass legislation regulating these issues, a sure win for patients, though more needs to be done for continued progress.