It’s Time to Educate the New Congress about CHD!
A new Congress not only brings new lawmakers to Washington D.C. but a whole host of new staff members, as well. Many of these folks have only a little knowledge of CHD, at best. With the current conversation about our nation’s healthcare system, it is important that they have at least a basic understanding of this common and costly disease.
Please take this opportunity to educate those new to their offices, and refresh the minds of those who’ve been around for a while.
Just last week, the CDC published great new information about healthcare costs related to birth defects indicating that hospital costs for congenital heart disease exceeded $6 billion in 2013, which should also be of interest to your lawmakers.
Sending an email is simple!!
- Find your legislator’s contact information.
a) Visit senate.gov or house.gov
b) If this is your first time reaching out, use the contact form on the legislator’s website to send your email.
c) If you have identified the Health LA, or had a previous contact with your member or a member of their staff, please feel free to use the direct email address you were given.
2. Copy and paste the paragraph below and personalize
a) Include your legislator’s name
b) Add your own personal story where indicated
c) Sign with your name, city, state and contact info
3) Send it!
Dear Congressman/Senator [name],
In light of the current conversation about our nation’s healthcare system, we wanted to take this opportunity to highlight a particularly vulnerable population and share with you a recent CDC publication.
Congenital heart disease is the most common birth defect and the leading cause of birth defect-related infant mortality. Nearly one third of children born with CHD will require life-saving medical intervention such as surgery or a heart catheterization procedure. With improved medical treatment options, survival rates are improving with a population of 2.4 million and growing. However, there is no cure. Children and adults with congenital heart disease require ongoing, costly, specialized cardiac care and face a lifelong risk of permanent disability and premature death. As a result, healthcare utilization among the congenital heart disease population is significantly higher than the general population.
In fact, last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published key findings that report that hospital costs for congenital heart disease exceeded $6 billion in 2013. (https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/birthdefects/features/kf-hospital-stays-costs-birthdefects-2013.html)
Congenital Heart Disease is common and costly, and attention to the needs of this community is critical.
We urge you to
- protect affordable access to health care for this population
- support robust research and surveillance to help understand the natural history of CHD and related healthcare utilization to improve outcomes and value, reducing overall and individual health care costs
The high cost of CHD has impacted my life: [ONE-TWO SENTENCES]
Ex: My husband owns his own small business and we reached our $10,000 insurance deductible due to the medical care Nicholas needs to make sure his heart isn’t getting any sicker, and instead he can continue to be an accelerated middle-school student with dreams of being an engineer and owning his own business.
Someone you know has been impacted by the most common birth defect and the high price tag associated with it.
Join us as together, we are #ConqueringCHD