Policy impacts every aspect of our lives including how and where we access health care, what kinds of services and resources are available to us, how quickly we can receive care, and how much we pay for that care. For those of us who have been impacted by cancer or chronic disease, we know that this can translate into barriers to care and delays or even gaps in the services that we need. Therefore, it’s important to understand the policies, laws, and regulations that can impact our health and wellness.
We have an opportunity to influence government decision-making through advocacy. Simply put, advocacy means using your voice to make your opinion heard and as a result potentially influencing people with decision making authority. Policy makers, including Members of Congress, listen to the views of their constituents (who are people that live in their electoral region and have the power to vote).
It’s easy to become an advocate:
- Educate yourself about issues important to you. Prepared Patient® Advocate seeks to provide information about oncology and health care policy issues that could impact you, your family, and/or your community. At the bottom of this page, you’ll find a list of legislation that is before Congress for consideration right now. Keep the information below in mind as you review the list.
- Develop brief and clear talking points.
- Do you support or oppose a policy issue? Why?
- Why should your elected official care about it?
- Has your elected official already taken a stand on the issue?
- Why does it matter for you and for your community?
- Make your voice heard by writing or calling your elected officials and educating them about specific issues of interest and why it’s important to cancer patients, survivors, families and the broader community.
- Remember that your voice matters. Nearly everyone is impacted by cancer, and it’s important that policies reflect our needs, values and priorities.