New Congress, New Goal: The Medicare Loophole Bill in the 116th Congress

In 2019, our goal is to get 80% of the new Members of Congress to sign on as cosponsors to the Medicare loophole bill while educating 100% of these new Members.

For the past eight years, the Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act – also known as the Medicare loophole bill – has been a top priority for Fight CRC and the colorectal cancer community.

Last year, we made more progress than ever before, getting a supermajority in both chambers – 305 cosponsors in the House and 61 cosponsors in the Senate. An incredible accomplishment! Unfortunately, we were unable to get the bill over the finish line before the 115th Congress came to a close.

In January, the 116th Congress officially began and over one hundred new Members of Congress were officially sworn into office – a significant change in the makeup of the House of Representatives in particular. These new Members come from all walks of life and for many, this is their first time serving in public office.

As colorectal cancer advocates, it is our job to educate policymakers on what it means to be a colorectal cancer patient, survivor, and caregiver. This year that job is more important than ever as we face a Congress that looks very different than the last time we were on Capitol Hill.

Since we are in a new Congress, the Medicare loophole bill had to be reintroduced in the House and Senate and we have to start adding cosponsors all over again. Luckily, many of the Members who were cosponsors previously will be added again. But with all these new Members of Congress, we have the opportunity to educate and grow even more support for the bill!

These new Members are enthusiastic and looking to make their mark on Congress. Gaining their support could be what helps us get this legislation over the finish line.

Starting at this year’s Call-on Congress and continuing throughout the rest of 2019, we will need your help to reach out to these all these new Members to share your story and get us to 80%!

In addition to focusing on these new Members, Fight CRC will be working with Members of Congress who are currently drafting legislation related to “surprise billing” – when an out-of-network provider bills a patient for costs that are not paid by their insurance company. Addressing this issue is a priority for Congress and the Administration and could be a good way to move the Medicare loophole bill forward.

With your help, a first step in gaining that support is signing the “Break Down Barriers to Screening” petition at GetBehindACure.org. We’ll carry your name with us to the Hill on March 19 during Call-on Congress as we work to educate these new members about colorectal cancer and the importance of closing the screening loophole.

For those of you attending Call-on Congress, we will see you in just a few short weeks when we will kick off our 80% effort. If you aren’t able to attend in person or know others who may be interested, join Fight CRC for our livestream and keep an eye out for upcoming action alerts! For additional information about Call-on Congress visit CallonCongress.org.

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