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Advocacy Update - June 21, 2010
Representatives Walther Jones (R-NC) and Betsy Markey (D-CO) recently introduced a resolution (H. Res.1433) designating September 2010 as Blood Cancer Awareness Month.

Resolution Introduced Recognizing Blood Cancer Awareness Month
Representatives Walther Jones (R-NC) and Betsy Markey (D-CO) recently introduced a resolution (H. Res.1433) designating September 2010 as Blood Cancer Awareness Month. H. Res. 1433 highlights the impact that the blood cancers have in the United States each year and encourages greater support for blood cancer research and education.

IMF is asking every advocate to write or call their U.S. Representative and urge them to support Blood Cancer Awareness Month by co-sponsoring H. Res. 1433. To write your Congressional Representative, please visit the Advocacy Action Center at www.advocacy.myeloma.org.

The IMF Honored in the May Congressional Record
Representative Brian Higgins (D-NY) honored the work of the IMF and raised awareness of multiple myeloma through his May 25th statement in the May Congressional Record. The Congressional Record is the official record of the proceedings and debates that occur on the floors of the Senate and the House in Congress. It is printed by the United States Government Printing Office and is issued daily when Congress is in session.

Representative Higgins stated what myeloma is, who is affected, and its prevalence. He recognized the IMF for its dedication to improving the quality of life for patients and caregivers while working towards prevention and cure for myeloma. He also noted the Cancer Drug Coverage Parity Act of 2009 (HR 2366), a bill that he introduced that will help to eliminate disparities for cancer patients whose insurance coverage has differences in the way oral and intravenous chemotherapy therapies are covered. The IMF has been proactively involved in helping to fight for this legislation.

To view a copy of the statement, please visit http://myeloma.org/pdfs/advocacy/HigginsFinalCR.pdf.

White House Orders Agencies to Pinpoint Programs for Budget Cuts in FY 2012
To begin preparing for the fiscal year (FY) 2012 budget, the White House has instructed federal agencies to compile a list of their “least critical” programs, adding up to at least 5 percent of their discretionary budgets. The White House views this as a way to modernize and reform government while reducing waste and making the government more efficient during a time when the public’s trust in government is low and concerns about the budget deficit are high. All agencies, including the Pentagon, would be required to compile such lists.

Additionally, the President plans to ask Congress in the coming weeks to pass legislation to give federal agencies the authority to keep half of their saved or unspent money during a given fiscal year. The goal is to provide a disincentive for agencies to spend all that they have been appropriated as they currently lose whatever they have not spent. The administration’s goal is not to cut spending while the economy remains shaky but to put the government on a path to reducing deficits in the next few years. All agencies, including the Pentagon, would be required to compile such lists.

Congressional Recess
The House and Senate will be in recess for the July 4th holiday beginning on July 2nd.  Both Chambers will resume legislative business on July 12th. 

Are You a Member of the Myeloma Action Network?
Want to stay informed about IMF’s advocacy activities? All you need to do is to join the Myeloma Action Network at www.advocacy.myeloma.org and you will automatically receive e-mail advocacy alerts from the IMF.  To learn more about health care reform and other important advocacy issues that impact the myeloma community, please visit the IMF advocacy page at www.myeloma.org.

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