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Advocacy Update - February 2013

Oral Anticancer Access Legislation Moves Forward in Oklahoma and Utah
Oklahoma On February 14th both the State House and State Senate in Oklahoma passed oral anticancer access legislation out of the insurance committees. Also, compelling testimonies in Utah on Tuesday lead to unanimous passage from their Senate Business and Labor Committee and is now onto the full State Senate. Seven other states are considering similar bills, which are imperative for myeloma patients on oral anticancer treatments who are forced to pay high out-of-pocket costs in co-insurance. The IMF believes that patients should not have to worry about affording treatment critical to their survival and well-being. Visit the Action Center to see if your state is considering legislation this year and Take Action today.

Help Stop Cuts to Critical Programs
Budget cuts On March 1, US federal government programs will face devastating, across-the-board cuts through a budget tool known as "sequestration." Many of these programs— the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention among them—are critical to the well-being of myeloma patients. The IMF is working with several coalitions in Washington, DC to stop these automatic cuts from taking effect in March, and to avoid additional cuts. We need your help!CLICK HEREto email your elected officials today.

Medicare and You: Navigating the Changing Health Insurance System
Medicare Please join us on Thursday, March 21, 2013, for a webinar on the provisions of Health Reform that impact Medicare patients today and starting in 2014. Next year, with the full implementation of Health Reform, there will be many changes to the Medicare system including the continued closure of the “donut hole” for prescription drugs. These changes can often be intimidating to those participating in the Medicare system. To help clarify what these changes mean for patients, we will be joined by a panel of experts on Medicare and Health Care Reform. Together, we hope to make the transition as simple as possible for myeloma patients and their families. This will be the first in a series of teleconferences that will focus on various aspects of Health Reform implementation.Click Here to Register.

February Advocate of the Month Lyle Drier
Lyle DrierProof that an individual can make a big difference comes from February Advocate of the Month Lyle Drier. In her home state of Wisconsin, Drier pushed lawmakers to pass a bill that makes co-pays for oral chemotherapy more affordable. More recently, she joined the IMF's Postcards for Parity program, collecting on her own and with friends 230 Wisconsin cards in two months! She got involved with myeloma advocacy for two main reasons: first, as a six-year myeloma survivor herself she has suffered the inequity of treatment coverage; and second, "It is nice to be able to help people who need it."READ MORE

Advocacy Tip of the Month
**With redistricting based on the 2010 census and changes from the 2012 elections, do you know who your current legislators are? Visit the Action Center’s Elected Officials section to learn who they are and what committees they serve on to start building your new relationship today. **
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