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AAFA’s Positions and Statements

AAFA develops policy statements, comments, and letters of support or opposition regarding public policies that affect people with asthma and allergies.

We want our positions and statements to reflect the voice of people living with asthma and allergies. AAFA works with many other health advocacy groups to form coalitions and alliances. We aim to teach government officials and other policy makers about the challenges of managing asthma and allergies and how policies can save or improve lives.

Read our latest statements, comments, and letters of support:

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2022

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on Nondiscrimination in Health Programs and Activities Rule – October 3, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) strongly supporting the Section 1557 Proposed Rule of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The rule prohibits discrimination across a range of health programs and activities. Implementation and enforcement of Section 1557 will reduce discrimination and improve equitable access to quality, affordable care for all patients.

AAFA Signs Letter Supporting the Strengthening of Civil Rights Protections – October 3, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in support of its proposed rule to revise Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. The rule will strengthen civil rights protections in federally funded health programs and HHS programs. The ability to access needed health care fully and free from discrimination is critical and requires action to support and strengthen existing nondiscrimination laws.

AAFA Signs Letter Supporting Reinstatement of ACA Nondiscrimination Protections – October 3, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter in support of the proposed rule to revise Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Provisions in the rule will help prevent discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, sexual orientation, and disability in certain health programs and activities. The proposed rule will also protect nondiscriminatory access to telehealth services.

AAFA Sends Letter Supporting School Access to Bronchodilators in Pennsylvania – September 20, 2022
AAFA sent a letter to the Pennsylvania House Education Committee in support of H.B. 2155, an act providing for school access to bronchodilators. It is vital that albuterol, a bronchodilator, be available to treat asthma episodes in the school setting. Schools must be equipped to respond swiftly to health emergencies that can quickly turn serious or deadly.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Telehealth Access Legislation – September 13, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter urging Senate leadership to ensure continued access to telehealth beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter requests a two-year extension of telehealth policies, while continuing to push for a permanent extension, that includes provisions to lift provider and patient location limitations, remove in-person requirements for telemental health, ensure continued access to clinically appropriate controlled substances without in-person requirements, and increase access to telehealth services in the commercial market.

AAFA Signs Letter Supporting the Reduction of Addictiveness of Cigarettes – September 12, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in support of a proposed rule to reduce the nicotine level in cigarettes to non-addictive or minimally addictive levels. Such a standard would generate massive public health benefits, preventing millions of young people from smoking and dramatically reducing the number of people who die from tobacco-caused diseases.

AAFA Signs Letter Supporting Public Health Protections in the FDASLA – August 29, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to House and Senate Leadership urging them to maintain critical protections in the FDA Safety and Landmark Advancements Act (FDASLA) for public health. These protections include safeguards that will help ensure Americans have access to safe dietary supplements, accurate tests used in clinical medicine, a safe and reliable supply of infant formula and other essential medical foods, food packaging free of harmful PFAS chemicals, safe cosmetics, and affordable and timely access to effective and safe medicines tested in diverse populations.

AAFA Comment Letter on FDA Evaluation of Food Allergens – August 17, 2022
AAFA provided comments on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposed guidance regarding evaluating the public health importance of food allergens. AAFA recognizes that the proposed guidance reflects an important step towards understanding how FDA might analyze data on additional allergens. But the letter expresses concern that the proposal does not do enough to identify when FDA will in fact take action to apply labeling and other requirements to other allergens.

AAFA Signs Letter Supporting Use of Digital Health Technologies – August 12, 2022
AAFA and other organizations from the Connected Health Initiative provided comments to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in response to the Medicare Physician Fee Schedule (PFS). The letter urges CMS to leverage every opportunity for permanent policy changes that incentivize responsible deployment and use of innovative digital health technologies.

AAFA Signs Statement Applauding Congressional Passage of the Inflation Reduction Act – August 12, 2022
AAFA and other organizations applaud Congressional passage of the Inflation Reduction Act. The statement praises the extension of enhanced Advance Premium Tax Credits (APTCs) for three years as an important step towards ensuring patients and consumers can afford the high-quality health insurance. The statement also expresses disappointment in Congress’ failure to address the Medicaid coverage gap and affirms our commitment to continue working on these important issues.

AAFA Signs Letter Applauding Extension of Enhanced APTCs – August 5, 2022
AAFA and other organizations applaud Congress’ action to extend enhanced Advance Premium Tax Credits (APTCs) in the Inflation Reduction Act for three years. APTC extension is an important step towards ensuring that patients and consumers can afford the high-quality health insurance they need. The letter also expresses disappointment in Congress’ failure to address the Medicaid coverage gap and affirms AAFA’s commitment to continue working on these important issues.

AAFA Signs Letter to EPA Urging Cleaner Car Standards – August 4, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urging it to propose and finalize strong cleaner cars standards that drive a nationwide transition to zero-emission light-duty vehicles. Climate change is a health emergency, and the transition to a zero-emission transportation sector is a critical step needed to safeguard health from the worst impacts of climate change.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter in Support of Prohibiting Flavored Cigars – August 2, 2022
AAFA and over 100 other organizations sent a comment letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in support of a proposed rule to ban flavored cigars. Flavored cigars dominate the cigar market and are often developed and marketed to appeal to youth. Flavored cigars disproportionately harm the health of Black Americans and other underserved populations. Prohibiting flavored cigars will produce substantial public health benefits, including reducing health disparities.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter in Support of Prohibiting Menthol Cigarettes – August 2, 2022
AAFA and over 100 other organizations sent a comment letter to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in support of a proposed rule to ban menthol cigarettes. Menthol cigarettes increase youth initiation of smoking and addiction to cigarettes and disproportionately harm the health of Black Americans and other underserved populations. Prohibiting menthol cigarettes will reduce youth smoking initiation and increase smoking cessation.

AAFA Signs Letter Supporting California’s Cleaner Truck Waivers – August 1, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urging the agency to grant waivers to California as it sought to reduce emissions from heavy-duty vehicles. Cleaning up the heavy-duty vehicles sector is a health and environmental justice imperative. A broad transition to zero-emission vehicles would help to prevent over 15,000 deaths and 440,000 asthma attacks in California.

AAFA Signs Statement on Lawsuit Threatening Coverage for Preventive Services and Immunizations – July 22, 2022
AAFA joins organizations representing millions of people with serious or chronic disease in issuing a statement warning of a pending lawsuit, Kelley v. Becerra, that threatens coverage for preventive services and immunizations. The lawsuit aims to dismantle key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that currently require insurance coverage of services that screen for and prevent disease. Studies show that high-quality coverage, complete with preventive services, improves the overall health of patients, lowers overall health spending, and reduces health disparities.

AAFA Sends Letter to White House of Food Allergy Policy Recommendations  – July 15, 2022
AAFA sent a letter President Biden and Vice President Harris outlining seven food allergy policy recommendations. The letter was sent in response to a call for input ahead of the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health scheduled for September 2022. AAFA’s recommendations include supporting the Food Labeling Modernization Act, supporting the Medical Nutrition Equity Act, increasing funding for food allergy research, increasing funding for nutrition labeling standards and enforcement at FDA, promoting food allergy-friendly options in child nutrition programs, improving accessibility and affordability of epinephrine, and improving menu labeling.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health – July 13, 2022
AAFA and other members of the Food Allergy Collaborative sent a summary of recommendations to the White House to help inform its fall conference on hunger, nutrition, and health. The recommendations include policy recommendations that will benefit the food allergy community by improving food access and affordability, integrating nutrition and health, empowering consumers to have access to healthy choices, and enhancing nutrition and food research.

AAFA Signs Letter for Stronger National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter – July 11, 2022
AAFA and other public health and environmental organizations sent a letter to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urging stronger National Ambient Air Quality Standards for dangerous particulate matter (PM). Setting stronger PM standards will protect millions of Americans, including vulnerable populations like children, the elderly, and people with asthma and other respiratory and heart conditions.

AAFA Signs Letter to Congressional Appropriations Leadership Requesting Mandatory Alcohol Labeling – July 6, 2022
AAFA and other consumer, nutrition, and public health organizations sent letters to the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees requesting mandatory standardized alcohol labeling on all beer, wine, and distilled spirits products. The request notes that unlike other foods and beverages, beer, wine, and distilled spirits are not required to declare the presence of major allergens, which may be used as processing agents or as ingredients.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Stronger NAAQS for Particulate Matter Pollution – June 27, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to declare stronger National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter (PM) pollution. The organizations urge EPA to follow the science by proposing and finalizing standards of 8 μg/m3 for annual PM2.5 and 25 μg/m3 for 24-hour PM2.5, and to consider recommending revising the form of the short-term standard to 99th percentile.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on Reducing Nitrogen Oxide Emissions from Specific Power Plants – June 21, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the proposed Federal Implementation Plan Addressing Regional Ozone Transport for the 2015 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standard. Ozone is a powerful lung irritant. Short-term exposure causes breathing problems and worsened symptoms for people with asthma and COPD. Long-term exposure may cause lasting harm to respiratory health. The organizations strongly support this ozone transport proposal to reduce nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from specific fossil fuel-fired power plants in 25 states and specific large industries in 23 states, which contribute to the nonattainment of the 2015 ozone standard in several downwind states.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging EPA Funding for Clean Air and Healthy Schools – June 10, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a testimony letter urging the US Senate Appropriations Committee to allocate $110 million to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) FY 23 budget. This would include $100 million for the Office of Air and Radiation/Indoor Environments Division to help school buildings become healthier and to advance school pandemic and climate-resiliency. And $10 million for EPA’s Office of Children’s Health Protection to increase environmental public health services for children in K-12 schools and child care facilities as well as research.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Provisions to Improve Diversity in Clinical Trials – June 8, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter urging the Senate to take up critical provisions included in Title V of the House Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) reauthorization which, if implemented, would improve diversity in clinical trials. Improving clinical trial diversity is an imperative both for patient access and comprehensive scientific research.

AAFA Signs Letters Requesting Increased CDMRP Funding – June 2, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent letters to the House and the Senate urging increased funding for defense health research programs funded through the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) at the Department of Defense (DoD). Funding for these programs should be increased by five percent plus inflation, to ensure that our country is prepared to meet current and future public health-related threats and challenges to our national security. Many of these programs are also directly related to preparedness and response to global pandemics.

AAFA Signs Letter Requesting Step Therapy Prohibition in MA Plans for Part B Drugs – June 1, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter asking the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to reinstate the step therapy prohibition in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans for Part B drugs as described in the September 17, 2012, HPMS memo Prohibition on Imposing Mandatory Step Therapy for Access to Part B Drugs and Services. The organizations are concerned that step therapy remains permissible, and patients continue to be harmed by the practice. The letter urges the administration to protect patients’ access to care and expeditiously reverse the harmful decision to allow MA plans to implement step therapy.

AAFA Signs Letter Requesting Increased NCCDPHP Funding for FY 2023 – May 26, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter request that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) be funded at $153 million for its Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) program – in line with President Biden’s FY 2023 request. This funding would help to ensure that public health departments, academic institutions, and nonprofit organizations are properly supported to address the social determinants of health in their communities. A healthier, more resilient population and stronger economy require us to prevent and control health conditions that raise health care costs and put lives at risk.

AAFA Signs Letter Requesting STLD Meeting – May 25, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Ms. Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regarding regulations limiting the sale and availability of short-term, limited-duration (“STLD”) health insurance. Non-compliant insurance offerings, including – but not limited to — STLD, have disproportionately harmed patients with pre-existing conditions and continue to jeopardize the health and wellbeing of both people and the integrity of our coverage system.

AAFA Sends Letter Regarding Formula Safety and Supply – May 24, 2022
AAFA sent a letter to the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations on formula safety and supply. The letter covers the impact the formula shortage is having on those with food allergies. When these special formulas for food allergies become scarce, babies with food allergies lives and health are put at risk because they may have no safe alternative available. Children and adults with Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE) are also at risk during this shortage. The letter includes stories from people across the country struggling to find specialty formula.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Passage of Clean Energy Investments – May 20, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Congress urging the passage of clean energy investments. Climate change is a health emergency. Addressing it by transitioning the nation to clean, renewable electricity and clean transportation will avoid the worst health impacts of climate change and achieve immediate improvements in air quality and health at the same time. The letter urges Congress to recognize the urgency of climate action and includes provisions that should be included when passing legislation into law.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Action on Infant Formula Shortage – May 18, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter urging Congress to take swift action to provide federal agencies with the flexibilities and resources needed to shore up supply, assure the safety of, and provide families with options of infant formula that ensure babies have access to essential nutrition. Infant formula is an essential product constituting the majority – or even exclusive – source of nutrition for many infants and some older children and adults with metabolic disorders.

AAFA Sends Comment Letter on the Business Practices of PBMs – May 18, 2022
AAFA sent a comment letter to the Federal Trade Commission on the business practices of Pharmacy Benefit Managers, or PBMs. For AAFA’s patient community, affordable and convenient access to medications is crucial. The letter outlines questions that should be addressed, including how PBMs affect drug pricing, drug tiering, and what role to PBMs play in designing utilization management protocols.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on Heavy-Duty Engine and Vehicle Standards – May 16, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter on the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (US EPA) proposed Heavy-Duty Engine and Vehicle Standards. Cleaning up the trucking sector is a public health and health equity priority, and the organizations urge US EPA to establish strict new standards by the end of 2022 that push the rapid cleanup of smog-forming emissions from trucks, ensure real-world pollution reductions and spur the transition to zero-emission trucking.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Clinical Trial Enrollment Diversity – May 11, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter urging improvement in the diversity of enrollment in clinical trials as part of this year’s Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) reauthorization. The lack of diversity in clinical trial enrollment inhibits a full understanding of how safe and effective new drugs might be across their intended populations. It also exacerbates disparities in access to treatment when enrolling in a clinical trial may be a patient’s most effective treatment option. Improving clinical trial diversity is an imperative both for patient access and comprehensive scientific research.

AAFA Supports Ad Prohibiting Menthol Cigarettes and Flavored Cigars – May 4, 2022
AAFA and other organizations signed onto an ad that ran in Politico, the New York Times, and Washington Post supporting the prohibiting of menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars. By advancing rules to prohibit these flavored tobacco products, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is taking historic action to save lives and protect future generations from addiction. This lifesaving policy must be finalized and implemented without delay.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging EPA Funding for Clean Air – April 29, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter urging increased funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, to fight climate change, ensure clean air and protect the health of communities around the country. The organizations support substantially increased funding for EPA of, at minimum, President Biden’s Budget request of $11.9 billion in fiscal year 2023 (FY23). Clean and healthy air is a fundamental right, but millions of Americans are exposed to unhealthy air pollution, and this pollution disproportionately harms communities of color and low-income families.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter Regarding the CEJST – April 25, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter on the Council on Environmental Quality’s Climate and Economic Justice Screening Tool (CEJST). The organizations strongly support the Justice40 Initiative and its stated commitment to ensure 40% of the overall benefits from federal investments to mitigate climate change go to disadvantaged communities. They see 40% as a floor rather than a ceiling, and call for it to cover investments, not just the benefits of investments. Targeting investments to clean up the most polluted communities first is critical to securing clean air, addressing climate change and advancing environmental justice.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Increased NCEH Funding for FY 2023 – April 25, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter expressing support for increased funding for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) in the FY 2023 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. The letter requests at least $401.85 million to NCEH to ensure all if its programs are adequately funded so NCEH can work to strengthen and expand its programs. Increasing our investments in environmental health prevention activities today will help reduce illness, disease, injury, health disparities and even death.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on Public Charge Ground of Inadmissibility – April 25, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter on DHS Docket No. USCIS–2021–0013, the notice of proposed rulemaking, “Public Charge Ground of Inadmissibility.” The letter outlines specific recommendations and urges the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to finalize the proposed rulemaking with the suggested improvements, as soon as possible. The proposed standard is consistent with the long-standing policy and law, easier to administer with consistency, and less discriminatory. It will also reduce the harms associated with chilling effect associated with the 2019 final rule.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging the Limiting of Fossil Fuel Expansion – April 22, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter calling on the Biden administration to limit fossil fuel expansion to protect the health of communities, here and abroad, now and for future generations. High energy costs can force families to forgo other health essentials including nutritious food and medical care; however, responding to high energy prices with actions that benefit the fossil fuel industry will neither help our families nor protect their health. Many experts have concluded that investing in the transition to clean, renewable energy can lower energy costs and increase energy independence faster and for the long-term compared to expanding US oil and gas extraction, refining, and exports.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Increased EPA Funding for FY 2023 – April 20, 2022
AAFA and organizations sent a letter urging increased funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to $11.9 billion in the fiscal year (FY) 2023 Interior, Environment and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. EPA programs save lives and safeguard health, including by improving air quality. From air monitoring networks to pollution standards, every action the agency takes has the potential to impact health. The letter lists air-focused programs that must receive more adequate investment, including the Clean Air and Climate program, categorical grants for state, local, and tribal air monitoring, the Diesel Emissions Reduction Grant Program, and more.

AAFA Signs Letters Urging Increased OSH Funding for FY 2023 – April 18, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent letters urging the House and Senate to increase funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) by $68.5 million, for a total of $310 million for fiscal year (FY) 2023. This increase would help OSH respond to high rates of e-cigarette use among youth and the devastating toll that tobacco continues to take on our nation’s health. Tobacco use has long been the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, and is also a significant contributor to health disparities. OSH has a vital role to play in addressing tobacco use.

AAFA Signs Letter on RFI for Access to Coverage and Care in Medicaid and CHIP – April 18, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding the request for information (RFI), Access to Coverage and Care in Medicaid and CHIP. The letter provides information for questions such as: ways that CMS can support states in achieving timely eligibility determination and timely enrollment; ways that CMS can support states in addressing barriers to enrollment and retention of eligible individuals among different groups; and what key indicators of enrollment in coverage should CMS consider monitoring.

AAFA Sends Comment Letter on Access to Coverage and Care in Medicaid and CHIP – April 18, 2022
AAFA sent a comment letter to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regarding the request for information (RFI), Access to Coverage and Care in Medicaid and CHIP. Medicaid has long been a crucial source of coverage for Americans with asthma, and after passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the program has become even more important in covering asthma care. AAFA shared information on specific objectives to help inform efforts to expand equitable access to both Medicaid and the CHIP program.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on the Oregon Health Plan 1115 Demonstration – April 13, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the Oregon Health Plan 1115 Demonstration. The letter outlines comments on: continuous eligibility, prescription drug coverage, Early and Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment (EPSDT) benefit and prioritized list, and investments in social determinants of health (SDOH) services and changes to managed care.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter Supporting MATS Proposal – April 11, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter supporting the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to restore the finding that the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) are “appropriate and necessary.” The standards are one of the most important public health protections put in place by EPA to reduce emissions of hazardous air pollutants in the communities the organizations serve. The letter urges EPA to quickly finalize this proposal, examine the Residual Risk and Technology Review and then strengthen the standards to fully protect public health from dangerous emissions from coal and oil-fired power plants.

AAFA Signs Letter Requesting NACP Funding Increase for FY 2023 – April 8, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter requesting that Senators/Representatives support a $9.5 million increase in funding for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Asthma Control Program, bringing funding to $40 million for fiscal year (FY) 2023. Currently, 23 states, Houston, TX, and Puerto Rico receive critical funding from the National Asthma Control Program to support state and local efforts to reduce the burden of asthma. The request would allow CDC to expand the Asthma Call-back Survey to more states, thereby facilitating the collection of critical asthma surveillance data necessary for effective policy planning and implementation.

AAFA Sends Letter to President Biden Requesting National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month Proclamation – March 31, 2022
AAFA sent a letter requesting that President Biden issue a proclamation declaring May ‘National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.’ Asthma presents significant burdens for approximately 25 million adults and children in the United States, as well as their families and caregivers. Asthma costs our society in direct and indirect expenses, medical visits, emergency visits, and hospitalizations. Asthma is also the leading chronic disease among children and a top reason for missed school days. Racial and ethnic disparities in the burden of asthma have long been established and supported by a large body of evidence.

AAFA Signs Letter Requesting Funding for NCCDPHP in FY 2023 – March 29, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Congress requesting $3.75 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) in its mission to help people and communities prevent chronic diseases and promote health and wellness for all. The organizations also oppose consolidation of NCCDPHP’s current disease-specific programs in the name of flexibility. Both the existing disease-specific programs and cross-cutting, flexible funding is necessary to address our nation’s chronic disease challenges.

AAFA Sends Letter Supporting the Zacky Bill (AB-2640) in California – March 24, 2022
AAFA sent a letter to the Chair of the Education Committee in California strongly supporting the Zacky Bill, AB-2640. The Zacky Bill will improve the health and safety of children across California who are living with food allergies by helping to create a practical tool for schools across the state to address food allergies. AAFA is pleased to see that the current version of the bill addresses both schools and early education centers. The Zacky Bill complements Elijah’s Law (AB 2042) without duplicating it, and the passage of both would help protect California’s youngest children with food allergies.

AAFA Signs Letter Regarding Clean Air in Building Challenge and Clean Air Checklist – March 21, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the Clean Air in Buildings Challenge and Clean Air Checklist. The organizations are looking forward to working with EPA on how to recognize and benchmark IAQ successes. The letter offers preliminary thoughts from the organization on the Challenge and Check List, including comments on children, schools today, the Challenge and benchmark, the Checklist, agency credibility, and other items.

AAFA Sends Letter to Lorne Michaels Concerning Segment Mocking Food Allergies – March 16, 2022
AAFA, on behalf of Kids With Food Allergies (KFA) sent a letter to Lorne Michaels, the Executive Producer of Saturday Night Live, sharing concerns about a recent segment titled “Home Repair Show” that mocked the significance of food allergies. The letter urges Michaels and NBC to refrain from this type of programming and stop using food allergies as a harmful punchline. The very real fear that people experience during an allergic reaction is a serious matter and should never be a punchline. Anaphylaxis is a serious immune response to an allergen and can be fatal if not treated promptly. Making light of this condition hurts adults, young adults, and children because it encourages their peers not to take the risk of allergic reactions seriously. This portrayal can also encourage bullying.

AAFA Signs Letter Requesting EPA Funding to Protect Children from Environmental Risks – February 15, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to President Biden and Vice President Harris requesting $60 million to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help protect children from environmental risks. Children are especially susceptible to harm from chemical exposure and unhealthy indoor air. Yet many U.S. schools, particularly in disadvantaged communities, lack the information, tools, and resources necessary to prevent or identify prevent and effectively address environmental risks to children. The letter requests $50 million to fund US EPA Indoor Environments Division’s proven “IAQ Tools for Schools” program, and $10 million in FY 2023 for EPA’s Office of Children’s Health Protection to advance research and educational outreach to families and providers.

AAFA Signs Thank You Letter to CMS for Removing Financial Barrier to Medicaid Coverage – February 14, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent letter thanking the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for the agency’s recent decision to remove a critical financial barrier to Medicaid coverage by rejecting and phasing out premiums in Section 1115 waivers. Removing these premiums both removes significant barriers to coverage and increases equitable access to healthcare for all Medicaid enrollees. The organizations thank CMS for taking this important step regarding premiums, which will allow for more equitable access to healthcare.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Extension of APTCs in the American Rescue Plan Act – February 11, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter asking Congress to permanently expand Affordable Care Act programs to ensure access to health care for the American people. This includes making the enhanced advance premium tax credits (APTCs) permanent and closing the Medicaid coverage gap. The organizations urge that, in taking steps to close the Medicaid coverage gap, Congress ensure that patients’ access to quality and affordable coverage not be jeopardized in the future and that states that have already expanded maintain that coverage.

AAFA Signs Letter Requesting Funding for NIEHS in FY2022 – February 10, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Congress requesting at least $888.7 million for the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in FY2022. Support for NIEHS’s research programs have increased importance with the public health challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and a more complex set of environmental exposures that influence the progression of certain diseases, including asthma. The NIEHS is poised to generate many exciting new discoveries about the impact of environmental factors, including climate change, on human health.

AAFA Signs Letter Regarding Climate Provisions in House Passed Build Back Better Act – February 9, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Congress strongly supporting the climate provisions included in the House-passed Build Back Better Act. Addressing climate change by transitioning the nation to clean, renewable electricity and clean transportation will avoid the worst health impacts of climate change and achieve immediate improvements in air quality and health at the same time. The letter is asking Congress to include recommended provisions from the organizations as the Act moves through the Senate.

AAFA Sends Letter to Virginia House of Delegates Supporting Elijah’s Law (HB 1328) – February 8, 2022
AAFA sent a letter to the Education Committee of the Virginia House of Delegates showing AAFA’s strong support of HB 1328, Elijah’s Law. In Virginia, Elijah’s Law would apply important allergy requirements to all child care providers. Providers would have to take concrete steps to manage food allergies for the children in their care, including developing emergency protocols, plans for preventing exposure, and plans for appropriate treatment should anaphylaxis occur. These requirements are evidence-based and will reduce reactions and risk for young children across the Commonwealth.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter to EPA on Methane Reduction Proposal – January 31, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the proposed Clean Air Act rule designed to significantly reduce methane emissions and emissions of other health-harming air pollutants from the oil and natural gas industry. The proposed New Source Performance Standards updates and emissions guidelines would lead to highly necessary reductions in greenhouse gases, slowing the acceleration of climate change and protecting human health. But the proposed provisions do not go far enough and the letter outlines steps for the EPA that would increase the public health benefits of the proposed rule.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Limiting the Sale and Availability of STLD Health Insurance – January 31, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Treasury, and Labor asking that new regulations be issued as soon as possible limiting the sale and availability of short-term, limited-duration (“STLD”) health insurance. The organizations are concerned that STLD plans have disproportionately harmed patients with pre-existing conditions as these plans charge higher premiums and refuse to sell coverage altogether to individuals with pre-existing conditions. The letter outlines recommendations as HHS moves forward with this rulemaking.

AAFA Signs Thank You Letter to Senator Warnock for Introduction of S.3339– January 31, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Senator Raphael Warnock thanking him for the introduction of S.3339 Capping Prescription Costs Act of 2021. Enactment of the carefully considered caps that reduce maximum out-of-pocket spending for coverage would help address the deep concern that consumers have for the rising costs of health care. With only six states currently limiting out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs, it is vital that Congress continually take a supportive role to ensure that everyone can all afford the prescriptions we need.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on the IIJA and Zero-Emission Transportation– January 28, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Secretary Pete Buttigieg of the US Department of Transportation regarding zero-emission transportation and how it is a critical element of protecting the health of all Americans today, and to safeguarding a health future. The transportation sector is the leading source of climate pollution in the US and a major source of air pollution. The organizations call on the federal government to ensure a robust and equitable distribution of the benefits of zero-emission transportation across the US, with a clear focus on ensuring access in underserved and disadvantaged communities. The letter provides comments on how to achieve the goals of the Infrastructure and Jobs Act (IIJA) rollout in the transition to zero-emission transportation.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on the Comprehensive Quality Strategy (CQS) Report – January 27, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter to the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) on the Comprehensive Quality Strategy (CQS) report. The organizations are encouraged to see the inclusion of asthma as an important area of focus for DHCS. The CQS report provides several opportunities to build on DHCS’s progress to date. The letter offers recommendations to strengthen the report and advance DHCS’s commitment to improving the quality and equity of the Medi-Cal program.

AAFA Sends Letter to Virginia Senate Supporting Elijah’s Law (SB 737) – January 26, 2022
AAFA sent a letter to the Subcommittee on Public Education of the Senate of Virginia showing AAFA’s strong support for SB 737, Elijah’s Law. In Virginia, Elijah’s Law would apply important allergy requirements to all child care providers. Providers would have to take concrete steps to manage food allergies for the children in their care, including developing emergency protocols, plans for preventing exposure, and plans for appropriate treatment should anaphylaxis occur. These requirements are evidence-based and will reduce reactions and risk for young children across the Commonwealth.

2021

AAFA Signs Comment Letter Supporting the Withdraw or Repeal of the SUNSET Rule – December 17, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter on the proposed rule to withdraw or repeal the final rule entitled “Securing Updated and Necessary Statutory Evaluations Timely” (SUNSET rule). The organizations support the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) current rulemaking to withdraw the SUNSET rule, as the rule would disrupt the operation of healthcare programs including Medicaid, CHIP, and the Marketplace by creating regulatory uncertainty for stakeholders and diverting CMS resources from ensuring that these programs respond as effectively as possible to the pandemic.

AAFA Signs Letter Supporting Reconsideration of NAAQS for Particulate Matter – December 14, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter strongly supporting the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) determination that a reconsideration of the existing National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Particulate Matter is needed based on the existing body of scientific literature. Particulate matter is a deadly pollutant that causes asthma attacks, heart attacks, strokes, and premature deaths. The letters urges the EPA to move forward to substantially strengthen both the annual and 24-hour fine particle standards in line with the scientific evidence to protect human health and the environment.

AAFA Sends Letter Urging Full Insurance Coverage for FeNO Testing – December 9, 2021
AAFA sent a letter urging Cigna to provide full insurance coverage for fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FeNO) testing. Cigna is preparing to review its coverage policy, “Exhaled Nitric Oxide in the Management of Respiratory Disorders (coverage policy #0439)” and AAFA believes that FeNO testing is an important tool for accurately diagnosing and monitoring an individual’s asthma. AAFA urges Cigna to review the most recent guidelines on FeNO testing, and to revise its coverage policy to be consistent with evidence-based recommendations.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging CDC Program Funding in FY 2022 Appropriations Bill – November 30, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter urging inclusion of at least $10.5 billion for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) programs in any final Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bill. While CDC is playing a leading role in protecting the public’s health from COVID-19, it is faced with many other unprecedented challenges and responsibilities. In addition to ensuring a strong public health infrastructure and protecting our communities from public health threats and emergencies, CDC programs are crucial to reducing health care costs and improving health.

AAFA Signs Letter for Reinstatement of Step Therapy Prohibition in MA Plans for Part B Drugs – November 23, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter asking the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to ensure that beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans continue to have appropriate and timely access to the therapies they need to properly manage their conditions. The organizations are asking that the agency move swiftly to reinstate the step therapy prohibition in Medicare Advantage (MA) plans for Part B drugs, given that there have been numerous cases of patient harm due to the utilization of step therapy protocols and the fact that beneficiaries receiving Part B covered drugs include some of the most vulnerable in the program.

AAFA Sends Comment Letter Regarding Smarter Food Safety and E-Commerce – November 19, 2021
AAFA sent a comment letter regarding smarter food safety and e-commerce. Families handling food allergies have shifted to extensive use of e-commerce to order groceries delivered to the home. AAFA urges the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to issue guidance ensuring that allergen and ingredient information, as well as other nutrition information, is displayed at the point of sale for food in e-commerce. Specifically, AAFA urges the FDA to ensure that allergen, ingredient, and nutrition information is readily available on the e-commerce suite in an easy-to-read format for all products required to have such information on the package.

AAFA Signs Statement Urging the Senate to Pass the Build Back Better Act – November 19, 2021
AAFA and other organizations released a statement urging the Senate to quickly pass the Build Back Better Act (H.R. 5376). This historic bill will increase access to high-quality, affordable health insurance for millions of Americans — including those with pre-existing conditions. Some of these solutions are temporary, and without further action, patients will once again face similar barriers to health care in just a few years. The organizations remain committed to working with Congress to permanently secure enhanced APTCs and close the Medicaid coverage gap.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging OCCHE Budget in FY 2022 – November 18, 2022
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter supporting the new Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) Office of Climate Change and Health Equity (OCCHE), and ask for the appropriations process in order to provide the OCCHE $6 million in Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 so that it can begin to fulfill its commitment to addressing the effects of climate change on the health of the American people. If current trends in climate change impacts continue and the opportunity to meet the current investment needs of OCCHE is passed by, we run the risk that many of the public health gains of the past century may be reversed.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on the Advanced Clean Truck (ACT) Rule Proposal – November 17, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation on the Advanced Clean Truck (ACT) rule proposal. The ACT rule is critical for protecting public health, addressing climate change, and developing New York’s clean energy economy. Adoption of the ACT rule is a crucial policy to achieve the state’s climate goals and was a recommendation from the Transportation Advisory Panel to the Climate Action Council as a way to reduce emissions from the transportation sector. It is imperative that New York adopt this rule before the end of 2021.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Passage of DIVERSE Trials Act – November 15, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter supporting the passage of the Diversifying Investigations Via Equitable Research Studies for Everyone (DIVERSE) Trials Act (H.R. 5030/S. 2706) and urging prioritization of the bill in various Committees to ensure it is enacted into law this year. The DIVERSE Trials Act would make it easier for all patients to participate in clinical trials while removing barriers that are known to keep certain racial and ethnic groups, older adults, rural residents, and those with limited incomes from being appropriately represented. Making clinical trials more efficient, inclusive, and accessible means bringing the growing benefits of medicine and science closer to every American.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on EPA’s Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2022-2026 – November 12, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2022-2026. The letter provides comments on the following goals from the plan: 1) tackle the climate crisis; 2) take decisive action to advance environmental justice and civil rights; 3) enforce environmental laws and ensure compliance; 4) ensure clean and health air for all communities; and cross-agency strategy 1: ensure scientific integrity and science-based decision making.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Provisions in FY 2023 Budget to Reduce Tobacco Use – November 10, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget urging provisions for the Fiscal Year (FY 2023) budget that expand the Administration’s efforts to reduce tobacco use, which remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. The letter requests the budget includes proposals for a minimum funding level of $310 million for the Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and expansion of access to tobacco cessation medications and services in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on the HHS Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2022-2026 – November 7, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter on to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2022-2026, focusing on goal #1: protect and strengthen equitable access to high quality and affordable health care, and its objectives. HHS will need to address financial and administrative barriers to care in Medicaid and Affordable Care Act (ACA) coverage. The organizations share HHS’s goal to reduce health care costs, appreciate that HHS did not make references to incentivizing individual healthy behavior as a means to addressing rising health care costs, and strongly support HHS’s attention to health equity.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on the Kansas Continuous Eligibility Amendment – November 5, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the Kansas Continuous Eligibility Amendment. The proposed waiver amendment would provide 12-month continuous eligibility for parents and caretaker relatives, which would help these individuals maintain access to care. The organizations strongly support this proposal and encourage HHS to approve it. Continuous eligibility reduces gaps in coverage that prevent patients from accessing the care that they need and can be an important tool to help states manage their work efficiently and avoid improper coverage losses during this critical time.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on NHTSA Proposal to Revisit CAFÉ Standards for Model Years 2024-2026 – October 26, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposal to revisit corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards for model years 2024-2026. The letter urges NHTSA to finalize the proposal at least as stringent as Alternative 3 to maximize long-term health benefits. And we urge you to complete the rulemaking in a timely manner to ensure the rules are implemented in model year 2024. Transitioning to zero-emission transportation nationwide is critical to address climate change and the immediate health impacts of its air pollution.

AAFA Sends Comment Letter on ICER’s “Tezepelumab for Severe Asthma” Report – October 14, 2021
AAFA sent a comment letter to the President of the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) on the draft evidence report, “Tezepelumab for Severe Asthma.” Despite the overall positive conclusion about tezapelumab’s effectiveness, AAFA is concerned the draft report reflects inaccurate assumptions about potential use, undervaluing quality of life and overestimating potential uptake. ICER’s review seems to understate the importance of the new possibilities tezapelumab raises for treatment. AAFA is deeply concerned about racial and ethnic disparities in asthma, rooted in a broad range of social determinants that affect individual and community risk.

AAFA Signs Statement Urging Funding of EPA’s Healthy Schools and Healthy Children Programs – October 14, 2021
AAFA and other organizations released a statement urging Congress to fund the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proven education and technical assistance programs for schools that can help them become more resilient to disasters and healthier places for learning. To ensure more resilient schools, facilities that can stay open or reopen quickly after major disasters, the statement calls on Congress to boost funding for the EPA’s Indoor Environments Division (OAR/IED) by $65M annually, and EPA’s Office of Children’s Health Protection (OCHP) by $10M annually. In all, the equivalent of $1.15/child/year enrolled in schools and child care.

AAFA Signs Letter Concerning COVID-19 Health Coverage Changes – October 6, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter about out-of-pocket costs for individuals who have been vaccinated, or are ineligible for vaccination, and are seeking treatment related to COVID-19. Nearly three quarters of the largest health plans across the country are ending their COVID-19 waivers and even more are set to end imminently. Health must recognize that consumers — vaccinated or not — should not be crushed further by the cost of COVID-19 treatment.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Enactment of 2022 Defense Appropriations Act – October 6, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to House and Senate leadership urging them to work toward the enactment of the fiscal year 2022 Defense Appropriations Act, to ensure that the Defense Health Research Programs, including the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP), are fully funded in fiscal year 2022. Failure to enact the Defense Appropriations Act will have major negative health implications for the millions of Americans – especially veterans, military service members and their families – who live with chronic and debilitating disorders.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Strong Standards to Curb GHG Emissions – September 27, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter urging the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) to set the strongest possible standards to curb climate-forcing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the light-duty vehicle sector. We call on US EPA to act now to revise the existing standards set by the previous administration, and to finalize model year 2023-2026 rules that aggressively respond to the immediate and generational threat climate change poses to public health and health equity.

AAFA Signs Statement Applauding Key Committees for Expanding Access to Health Care – September 17, 2021
AAFA and other organizations released a statement commending the Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means Committees for expanding access to adequate and affordable health care in reconciliation legislation. The legislation permanently cements expanded advance premium tax credits (APTCs) and aligns the affordability of individual market insurance with employer sponsored insurance by re-setting the definition of affordability. The organizations now call on Congress to secure this investment in access to adequate and affordable health insurance by including these provisions in the final reconciliation bill

AAFA Signs Letter Supporting Maternal Health Provisions in the Build Back Better Act – September 17, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter expressing support and appreciation, and urging enactment, of the maternal health provisions included in the Committee on Energy and Commerce print of the Build Back Better Act. The provisions demonstrate commitment to addressing our nation’s maternal mortality crisis, which disproportionately impacts Black and Indigenous people, through bold policies that will help ensure that pregnant and postpartum people have access to critical resources, health care coverage, community-based and social supports, and the high quality health care they need in order to thrive.

AAFA Signs Letter Supporting the Food Labeling Modernization Act – September 14, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Congress in support of the Food Labeling Modernization Act (FLMA) (H.R.4917/S.2594). The bill would increase consumer transparency, encourage product reformulation, and counter misleading food claims. The FLMA directs the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to establish a simple, standard front-of-package labeling system for foods sold in the US, and that nutrition, ingredient, and allergen information be available for grocery items sold online.

AAFA Signs Letter Supporting LIFT the BAR Act – September 13, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter calling on Congress to support and quickly enact the Lifting Immigrant Families Through Benefits Access Restoration (LIFT the BAR) Act upon its introduction. The LIFT the BAR Act restores access to public programs like Medicaid, CHIP, and SNAP, by removing the five-year bar and other barriers that deny critical care and aid to people who are lawfully present and their families. This includes people who hold “green cards,” Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, crime victims, child maltreatment victims and orphans who hold Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), and other noncitizens residing lawfully in the United States.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on the TennCare III Special Terms and Conditions Approval – September 9, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter on the Special Terms and Conditions approved on January 8, 2021 for the TennCare III demonstration waiver. The purpose of the Medicaid program is to provide healthcare coverage for low-income individuals and families, and the organizations are committed to ensuring that TennCare provides quality and affordable healthcare coverage. The letter urges rescinding the January 8, 2021 Special Terms and Conditions approval as soon as possible and work with the state on a new waiver that ensures quality and affordable coverage in the TennCare program.

AAFA Signs Letter Concerning the Unaffordable Medicare Part D OOP Costs – September 9, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to House Committee members urging them to address the unaffordable out-of-pocket (OOP) costs in the Medicare Part D program as they draft the budget reconciliation package. The current OOP burden faced by beneficiaries impedes patient access to prescribed medications. The number of Medicare beneficiaries facing high OOP costs for prescription drugs is growing. The letter calls on the members to include Part D reforms that ensure patients can access the medications needed to improve and maintain their health in the budget reconciliation package.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging EPA Funding for Clean Air in Schools – September 8, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Congress and issued a statement urging reconciliation/ budget act funding for US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help address the risks of poor indoor air and ventilation in schools and child care facilities, and to support the expansion of pediatric environmental health services for children at risk, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Indoor air quality can be a severe health risk in ‘normal times’ for the 6 million American children with asthma, the leading cause of school absenteeism due to chronic illness. Black, LatinX, and Indigenous communities hit hardest with COVID, and with lower vaccination access and rates, have the schools in the worst conditions.

AAFA Supports Ad Urging Making Healthcare Tax Credits Permanent – September 8, 2021
AAFA and other organizations signed onto an ad that ran in Politico focused on the importance of making advanced premium tax credits (APTCs) permanent. Millions more Americans can afford quality healthcare because of these tax credits. The organizations urge Congress to make APTCs permanent.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Investment in Health in Response to the Climate Crisis – September 7, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter urging Congress to invest in protecting and promotion health in response to the climate crisis. The organizations call on Congress to make smart, healthy, and equitable investments in America that will provide real and substantial health and climate benefits – now and in the decades to come. The letter outlines a list of priority investments that provide a crucial way forward to address the climate crisis and related health harms, and to secure our children’s and grandchildren’s futures.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on the Requirements Related to Surprise Billing: Part 1 – September 7, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter on the Requirements Related to Surprise Billing: Part I, issued by the Office of Personnel Management and the Departments of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), Labor, and the Treasury. The comment letter includes that the law must be implemented in a way that provides consumers with clear, comprehensive protections against surprise bills where they have not knowingly obtained out-of-network care, and must be implemented in a way that ensures the independent dispute resolution (IDR) process does not lead to higher costs for patients.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Funding of Zero-Emission School Buses – September 1, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to members of the members of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and the House Committee on Energy and Commerce urging them to maximize funding of zero-emission school buses as part of federal infrastructure investments. Diesel exhaust exposure is linked to serious health effects in children, including asthma attacks and diminished brain function. Children are especially vulnerable to poor air quality, as their brains and respiratory systems are still developing.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Indoor Air and Ventilation Funding in Schools – August 28, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer and House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi urging reconciliation act funding for US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help address the continuing, unresolved risks of poor indoor air and ventilation in our nation’s schools and child care facilities, and to support the expansion of pediatric environmental health services for children at risk. During this COVID-19 pandemic, with more school-age children infected and hospitalized than ever before – and schools are barely open for the fall session — schools must have clean, fresh air

AAFA Signs Letter Regarding Requirement of Masks on Public Transportation – August 23, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter thanking the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration for maintaining the requirement that all individuals wear masks on public transportation through January 18, 2022. The letters encourages keeping this policy in place until low transmission rates in addition to increased vaccination rates make it safe to lift.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Prohibition of Commercial Tobacco Products at MLB Venues – August 23, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the Major League Baseball Players Association’s (MLBPA) Executive Director and Major League Baseball’s (MLB) Commissioner urging that the 2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) prohibit the use of all commercial tobacco products by all players, managers, coaches, other personnel and fans at all MLB venues. Tobacco remains the No. 1 preventable cause of death in the United States. Baseball stadiums are workplaces and public places, so it is appropriate and legal to restrict the use of a harmful substance in such a setting.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging the Stop of Vaccine Disinformation – August 11, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent letters to the CEOs of social media platforms to urge them to completely remove the accounts of prominent anti-vaxxers and their organizing pages from their platforms and to immediately begin issuing corrective posts to counter the misinformation and disinformation in your platform feeds. People have been exposed to an abundance of health misinformation and disinformation about approved COVID-19 vaccines, causing massive confusion and fear, and lead people to decline COVID-19 vaccines, reject masking, physical distancing, and other scientifically proven health and safety measures.

AAFA Sends Letter Urging Steps to Improve School Safety – August 10, 2021
AAFA sent a letter to the School Superintendents Association urging two key steps to improve school safety. First, school districts should use American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to improve indoor air quality in schools, including the use of proven technologies for this purpose. Second, schools should implement recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommending universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status. These steps, along with other COVID-19 safety protocols, will help promote the health and safety of all children this school year.

AAFA Supports Back to School Day of Action 2021 Focused on Clean Air in School – August 10, 2021
AAFA supports the Back to School Day of Action 2021 in a release from the national Coalition for Healthier Schools, coordinated by Healthy Schools Network. The coalition is calling for critical and immediate actions and $75 Million in funding to rapidly expand the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) capacity to mount education and technical assistance campaigns on clean indoor environments in the nation’s schools: Clean Air, Clean Water, and Clean and Healthy Products. AAFA has championed clean air in schools for decades, long before the current pandemic. There is strong evidence that indoor environmental exposure to poor air quality in schools plays a substantial role in triggering allergies and asthma symptoms.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Investments in Climate and Health Solutions – August 9, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Congress urging major investments in climate and health solutions by transitioning the nation to clean, renewable electricity and clean transportation to avoid the worst health impacts of climate change and achieve immediate improvements in air quality and health at the same time. Congress’ current work on legislation to invest in infrastructure and other priorities must yield a package of climate change measures that meet the urgency of this moment by achieving a roughly 50% reduction in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

AAFA Signs Letters Requesting Funds for Expansion and Improvement of Air Quality Monitoring Data and Networks – August 3 & 12, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent letters urgently requesting funds for new equipment and resources requiring the Environmental Protection Agency to expand fenceline monitoring requirements and our nation’s ambient air quality monitoring networks. The letter requests these funds be included in the Senate Environment and Public Works, House Energy and Commerce titles, and the Environment and Public Works and Energy and Commerce titles of the American Jobs Plan. Expansion and improvements to our nation’s air quality monitoring data and networks will keep communities informed and better protected from dangerous air pollution.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging that Advance Premium Tax Credits are Made Permanent – August 3, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Congress urging the expansion of access to high-quality, affordable health care coverage through the budget reconciliation process. It is critical that Congress take immediate steps to permanently secure the enhanced advance premium tax credit (APTC) subsidies passed through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). These enhancements have made coverage more affordable, and thus more available, to patients and consumers. In addition, these improvements to affordability could help to stabilize the individual markets over the long-term.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on the Improving Health Insurance Markets Proposed Rule – July 28, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter on the Updating Payment Parameters, Section 1332 Waiver Implementing Regulations, and Improving Health Insurance Markets for 2022 and Beyond Proposed Rule (the “Improving Health Insurance Markets Proposed Rule”), issued by the Departments of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) and of the Treasury (collectively, the “Departments”). The rule will both improve and safeguard the accessibility, affordability, and quality of care for the patients and consumers we represent, and the letter outlines comments and recommendations addressing specific provisions for the proposed rule.

AAFA Signs Letter Supporting the Tobacco Tax Equity Act of 2021 – July 16, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the Senate expressing strong support for S. 1314, the Tobacco Tax Equity Act of 2021, which would increase the federal excise tax on cigarettes and set federal tax rates for other tobacco products at an equivalent level. This legislation would generate substantial benefits to public health by helping prevent young people from starting to use tobacco products and helping current users to quit. At the same time, it would increase federal revenues, including by closing existing tax loopholes that have created incentives for tax avoidance.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on the NY State Plan Revision for the 2008 Ozone NAAQS – July 16, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation on the New York State Draft State Implementation Plan Revision for the 2008 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). Achieving attainment of the 2008 ozone NAAQS in the New York Metropolitan Area (NYMA), is critical for public health, environmental equity, and compliance with the Clean Air Act. Exposure to ozone remains a serious public health issue that, like exposure to other types of air pollution, falls disproportionately on New Yorkers of color. The state must take more urgent steps to reduce emissions from the transportation sector.

AAFA Signs Statement Applauding Rule Implementing the No Surprises Act – July 14, 2021
AAFA and other organizations released a statement commending the Biden administration on the July 1 release of an interim final rule that will prevent patients from receiving surprise medical bills as required by the No Surprises Act, which became law in December as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act. The rule includes robust safeguards for patients and consumers nationwide and ensures that patients are held harmless from most surprise bills and protects health care affordability and access.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Reconsideration of CA Advanced Clean Cars Waiver Revocation – July 6, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter supporting the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed reconsideration of the revocation of California’s Advanced Clean Cars waiver. The letter urges the EPA to restore the waiver as quickly as possible and to restore lost emission benefits. Also the EPA should work with the Biden Administration to facilitate the rapid and widespread deployment of zero-emission transportation coupled with non-combustion renewable energy.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on EPA Proposed Rule on HFCs – July 6, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter supporting the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule, “Phasedown of Hydrofluorocarbons: Establishing the Allowance Allocation and Trading Program under the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act”. The letter asks that the implementation of the phasedown ensures that persons needing metered dose inhalers continue to have reliable access to these effective treatments until suitable alternatives are developed.

AAFA Signs Letters Regarding Patient-Centered Drug Pricing Policies for Autoimmune Patients– June 30, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent letters to key Congressional leaders regarding patient-centered drug pricing policies for autoimmune patients. The letter outlines some of the proposed policy issues and how they impact patients with chronic diseases, especially those with autoimmune diseases, and it points to policy solutions that could immediately address affordability for patients at the pharmacy counter

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on the Texas Healthcare Transformation and Quality Improvement 1115 Demonstration Waiver – June 25, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter on the Texas Healthcare Transformation and Quality Improvement 1115 Demonstration Waiver. Texas has the nation’s highest uninsured rate; 18.4% of the state’s population does not have healthcare coverage. The Texas waiver application contains several important provisions related to access to care in the Medicaid program. It falls profoundly short of its coverage and cost-effectiveness potential by not including Medicaid expansion and includes a request for the waiver to be approved for 10 years.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on Colorado’s 1332 State Innovation Waiver Application – June 25, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter on the Colorado 1332 State Innovation Waiver Five-Year Extension Application for its Reinsurance Program. The organizations support Colorado’s efforts to strengthen its marketplace by submitting this, and urge its approval. Reinsurance is an important tool to help stabilize health insurance markets. This program is projected to continue to significantly reduce premiums and increase the number of individuals obtaining health insurance through the individual market. This will continue to help patients with pre-existing conditions obtain affordable, comprehensive coverage.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging NY Adoption of Clean Truck and Heavy-Duty Omnibus Rules – June 25, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation urging them to begin the formal rulemaking process to adopt the Advanced Clean Truck and Heavy-Duty Omnibus rules and finalize adoption no later than December. Transportation accounts for the largest share of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and a significant source of other toxic pollution in the state of New York, and emissions from this sector are rising. Given the slow rate of vehicle turnover, any delay in moving forward will compound the challenges in achieving New York’s landmark climate commitments.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Improvements on President’s Budget FY22 for US EPA – June 24, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Interior, Environment & Related Agencies; and Environment & Related Agencies urging two critical improvements to the President’s Budget FY22 Budget for US EPA. The organizations urge that $65 Million be directed to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Air and Radiation/Indoor Environments Division’s to restore and expand its Reducing the Risks of Indoor Air program and $10 Million directed to Office of Children’s Health Protection to restore and expand pediatric environmental health assistance.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Detailed Indoor Air Quality Guidance Sent to Schools – June 23, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent urging that the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) provide detailed ventilation and indoor air quality guidance to schools. Despite its importance, poor ventilation in schools is a widespread, persistent problem. The guidelines should describe the specific actions schools can take to improve indoor air quality, including inspection, testing, maintenance, repair, replacement, and upgrade projects, and outline how schools can develop an estimated timeline for taking such actions.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Stronger NAAQS for Particulate Matter and Ozone Pollution – June 22, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urging swift action to set stronger National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter and ozone pollution. Health-based air quality standards must be set at levels that protect all people, especially sensitive groups. Ozone and particulate matter air pollution tend to affect vulnerable individuals more, which is why it is particularly important to build a margin of safety into air quality standards so that at-risk groups such as the elderly, children, and people with lung, heart and other chronic diseases are adequately protected.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Emissions– June 21, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter to the Deputy Direction of the Office of Management and Budget on the Technical Support Document: Social Cost of Carbon, Methane, and Nitrous Oxide Interim Estimates. The organizations urge setting the final cost at a level that adequately accounts for the enormous health tolls of climate change by setting the damage function – and therefore the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases – at a high enough level to account for physical and mental health impacts that are difficult to quantify, but no less real.

AAFA Signs Statement on Upholding the Affordable Care Act – June 17, 2021
AAFA and other organizations released a statement regarding the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While recent enhancements to the ACA including temporary expanded premium subsidies and increased navigator funding represent tremendous strides forward for patients, the organizations believe lawmakers and the Administration must commit to doing even more to ensure our country’s health.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter Supporting EPA’s Interim Final Rule – June 14, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) showing strong support for the Interim Final Rule to rescind the rule on Increasing Consistency and Transparency in Considering Benefits and Costs in the Clean Air Act Rulemaking Process. The original rule was concerning because of the potential for discrediting “co-benefits”, potentially harmful provisions, and the rule’s assessment that only the benefits and costs accrued within the United States should be counted, with global climate impacts being reported separately.

AAFA Signs Letter For Stronger National Ambient Air Quality Standards – June 10, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to President Biden and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) urging stronger primary and secondary National Ambient Air Quality Standards for dangerous particulate matter (PM) and ozone pollution. The benefits of stronger standards will undoubtedly benefit the health and well-being of our natural environment, all people across the country, and particularly those who have been disproportionately burdened by these harmful air pollutants.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Stringent Measures to Reduce Methane – June 3, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to adopt more stringent measures to reduce the emissions of methane and associated pollution from both new and existing oil and gas operations. Such measures would help to slow climate change and convey significant health benefits by reducing pollution of the air, land, and water. The organizations urge EPA to strengthen the protections established by the 2016 New Source Performance Standards to prevent or capture emissions of methane and volatile organic compounds from their operations.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on Tezepelumab Treatment for Severe Asthma – May 27, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter to the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (“ICER”) on the comparative clinical cost effectiveness and value of tezepelumab for the treatment of severe asthma. The organizations urge ICER to use this review as an opportunity to identify and address the ways in which the data informing its analyses may reflect and even perpetuate biases in the healthcare and clinical trial systems. The letter outlines concerns surrounding asthma disparities in the U.S., and equity in clinical trials.

AAFA Sends Comment Letter Urging Improvements in Indoor Air Quality Under the ARP Act – May 24, 2021
AAFA sent a comment letter to the U.S. Department of Education on the Interim Final Rule on the American Rescue Plan Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSR) Fund. The ARP Act provides a total of nearly $122 billion via the ARP ESSER Fund to State educational agencies (SEAs) and local educational agencies (LEAs). AAFA is urging the Secretary to highlight the importance of indoor air quality in the final ARP requirements and provide further information to states and LEAs to encourage thoughtful investment of ARPA funds in this area.

AAFA Signs Letter Requesting FY 2022 Funding Increase for CDMRP Defense Health Research Programs – May 21, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent letters to the Senate and House Appropriations members requesting a five percent plus inflation funding increase for defense health research programs in the FY 2022 Defense Appropriations Act to ensure that our country is prepared to meet current and future public health-related threats and challenges to our national security. These programs are funded through the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) at the Department of Defense (DoD).

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Strong Pollution Standards for Buses and Trucks – May 12, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to President Biden urging strong pollution standards for buses and trucks with a goal of achieving a zero-emission trucking sector by 2040. Americans’ health is at risk now from harmful air pollution caused by tailpipe emissions. The organizations urge the setting of a national standard for trucks that achieves the equivalent of a 90% reduction in nitrogen oxide (NOx) over the current standard, while also supporting states across the country going further than what the current or future national standards requires.

AAFA Signs Statement Urging Prioritization of Health Care Policies in Next Legislative Package – May 6, 2021
AAFA and other organizations released a statement urging Congress to prioritize health care policies and include affordability measures in the next legislative package. Though the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) helped bring affordable health care to millions, more must be done. The Biden Administration and Congress must seize this unique moment and protect patients with pre-existing conditions in the next legislative package addressing health care.

AAFA Supports Biden Administration’s Commitment to Prohibit Menthol Cigarettes – May 5, 2021
AAFA and other organizations signed onto an ad that ran in the Washington Post in support of the Biden Administration’s commitment to prohibit menthol cigarettes. Big Tobacco has targeted Black communities and kids with menthol cigarettes, profiting at the expense of Black lives and health. This lifesaving policy must be finalized and implemented without delay. This is a fight to protect kids, advance health equity and save countless lives.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Stronger Greenhouse Gas and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Cars – May 3, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to President Biden urging action to clean up air pollution and curbing climate change by setting strong, ambitious greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards for cars, light trucks and SUVs through at least model year 2030. In order to protect public health from the impacts of climate change and meet the directives of the Paris Agreement, a widespread transition to electric vehicles and, ultimately, a pollution-free transportation sector, is necessary. Rigorous standards for light-duty vehicles are critical to drive the shift to zero-emission vehicles.

AAFA Sends Letter to the Senate in Support of HB 2648 – May 3, 2021
AAFA sent a letter to the Chair of the Senate Committee on Health supporting HB 2648. This bill would allow consumers in Oregon to purchase medicines containing pseudoephedrine (PSE) without a prescription. Oregon is currently the only state that requires a prescription to purchase common cold and allergy medicines containing PSE. This requirement is a significant cost and inconvenience for families who are forced to take time from work to receive a prescription from the doctor. The current prescription requirement makes it more expensive, in terms of time and money, for cold and allergy sufferers to get relief.

AAFA Sends Letter Supporting H.2222/S.1498 and S.1462 – May 3, 2021
AAFA sent a letter to the Joint Committee on Public Health expressing support for H.2222/S.1498, an Act enabling trained school personnel to administer life saving epinephrine treatment and S.1462, an Act relative to the storage of epinephrine at schools. Epinephrine is the only treatment for anaphylaxis and is only available with a prescription. Children who have severe food allergies need epinephrine with them at all times to promptly treat anaphylaxis. The protection H.2222/S.1498 and S.1462 provide to treat someone in a school setting suffering anaphylaxis, even for their very first allergic reaction, is life-saving.

AAFA Sends Letter Endorsing Proposed IMC Updates – April 27, 2021
AAFA sent a letter to the International Mechanical Code Committee strongly endorsing two proposed updates to the International Mechanical Code (IMC) that will improve indoor air quality, greatly improving the health and safety of occupants. AAFA supports the Clean Air Ready (M2521) proposal, which will require mechanical systems to accommodate a MERV13 filter and require the electrical infrastructure necessary for clean air delivery, and the Demand Control Ventilation (M26-21) proposal, which will require occupiable spaces to have CO2 sensors to help monitor for adequate ventilation, as well as ventilation systems that satisfy outdoor air thresholds.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Increased CDC Funding in FY 2022 – April 26, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, requesting at least $10 billion for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) programs in Fiscal Year (FY) 2022, an increase of $2.1 billion over FY2021. These science-based, data-driven activities are critical to protecting the health of all of our communities and deserve greater sustained support to address the many ongoing public health challenges we face. CDC is the backbone of the United States public health system, and the investment would help support a variety of public health imperatives.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Funding for CAPs in FY 2022 – April 26, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter urging funding for Consumer Assistance Programs (CAPs), in the Fiscal Year 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill. CAPS provide needed services to consumers, and offer strong return on investment. The organizations understand the difficulty patients and consumers have navigating our system of care. It will be important for Congress consider solutions to create a consistent source of support for these essential programs into the future.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Increased NCCDPHP Funding for SDOH Program in FY 2022 – April 26, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter urging funding increase for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) in FY 2022. The letter requests the NCCDPHP be properly funded at $153 million for its Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) program. Now more than ever it is important to address the social and economic conditions, including housing, employment, food security, and education, that contribute significantly to an individual’s health outcomes over their lifetime.

AAFA Signs Letters Urging Patient Community Healthcare Priorities to Improve Health Care Access – April 23, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent letters to Congress and President Biden urging them to enact additional legislation that will help support the health and wellbeing of the American public. The organizations are asking Congress and the President to: address affordability of health insurance premiums and health insurance out-of-pocket costs, support and expand Medicaid coverage, and limit inadequate short-term limited duration and other non-compliant plans.

AAFA Signs Letter on the Climate Crisis’ Impact on Maternal and Infant Health Outcomes – April 20, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to President Biden addressing the climate crisis’ domestic impacts on maternal and infant health outcomes. The letter shows support for the President’s January Executive Order (EO) on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad and for his commitment to racial justice and environmental justice in addressing the climate crisis in the United States. It also recommends various actions to address the climate crisis’ impact on maternal and infant health outcomes. Climate health adaptation efforts should adopt a reproductive justice lens and acknowledge the added vulnerability faced by birthing people, particularly Black and Indigenous women, and others most affected by the country’s maternal health crisis.

AAFA Signs Letter Requesting EPA Meeting to Discuss Priorities – April 14 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the new Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Michael S. Regan, requesting a meeting to discuss opportunities for urgent action the EPA can take to reduce air pollution, curb climate change and improve health equity. The climate crisis, air pollution and environmental injustice are interrelated, and the administration places a high priority on addressing all three. Our organizations would like to discuss how to seize this opportunity and maximize the benefits to human health.

AAFA Sends Letter Requesting Proclamation Declaring May ‘National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month’ – April 14, 2021
AAFA sent a letter to President Biden requesting that he issue a proclamation declaring May ‘National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month.’ In the United States, asthma presents significant burdens for approximately 25 million adults and children, as well as their families and caregivers. Racial and ethnic disparities in the burden of asthma have long been established and supported by a large body of evidence. Declaring May as National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month would represent the President’s continued commitment to eradicating disparities in all disease areas while acknowledging a community that experiences some of the starkest health disparities in the United States.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on Proposed Model for the Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis – April 12, 2021
AAFA supported a comment letter sent by the National Eczema Association to the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) on the proposed model for JAK Inhibitors and Monoclonal Antibodies for the Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis. The letter outlines feedback on the following topics: calculation of life-years and equal value life-years gained; inclusion of anxiety and depression in the cost consequence analyses; importance of the pediatric/adolescent model; access, affordability, and out-of-pocket considerations; and modified societal perspective.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Funding for NCCDPHP’s SDOH Program in FY 2022 – April 8, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter requesting that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) be properly funded at $50 million for its Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) program in the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) appropriations legislation for FY 2022. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how a community’s resources directly impact the health of its residents. Public health departments and community organizations are uniquely situated to build these collaborations across sectors, identify SDOH priorities in communities, and help address policies that inhibit health. A healthier, more resilient population and stronger economy require us to prevent and control health conditions that raise health care costs and put lives at risk.

AAFA Sends Letter to NBC Concerning Joke About Food Allergies – April 6, 2021
AAFA sent a letter to Lorne Michaels, the Executive Producer of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon about a segment mocking the significance of food allergies in the lives of millions of Americans. The very real fear that people experience during an allergic reaction is a serious matter and should never be a punchline. Making light of this condition hurts adults, young adults, and children because it encourages their peers not to take the risk of allergic reactions seriously. This portrayal can also encourage bullying. Since 2016, AAFA has repeatedly asked Lorne Michaels and hit network NBC to stop mocking food allergies and strongly urges him to refrain from this type of programming in the future and to finally pledge to stop using food allergies as a harmful punchline.

AAFA Released a Statement Applauding Massachusetts Biomass Plan Permit Denial – April 5, 2021
AAFA released a statement applauding the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) for revoking the air permit for the proposed biomass energy facility in Springfield, Massachusetts. The proposed facility was environmentally unjust and would have caused additional negative health impacts to an overburdened community. According to AAFA’s 2019 Asthma Capitals Report, Springfield is already the most challenging city in the United States to live with asthma. AAFA has long opposed the burning of biomass for energy. Additionally, the burden of asthma falls disproportionately on Black, Hispanic, and American Indian/Alaska Native people in the United States. Polluting sources like the proposed biomass plant have been placed in marginalized communities for far too long and significantly contribute to the stark health disparities in America.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Funding Increase to NCEH in FY 2022 – April 2, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the Senate and House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services expressing support for increased funding for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) in the FY 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. The organizations urge the Subcommittee to provide at least $322 million to NCEH to ensure all of its programs are adequately funded. Increasing our investments in environmental health prevention activities today will help reduce illness, disease, injury, health disparities and even death.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Support of COVID Recovery Legislation – April 2, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to President Biden urging him to support COVID recovery legislation that invests in a healthier future for the nation by cleaning up air pollution, addressing climate change and ensuring environmental justice. The pandemic has highlighted a need and an opportunity for robust and sustained support for public health measures to build a healthier future. Public health depends on the nation’s ability to protect all communities from harmful pollution, prevent the worst impacts of climate change and mitigate the climate impacts we’re facing now, and ensure racial justice in every aspect of federal policy. The organizations hope that the President will adequately bolster public health by targeting investments to programs that will mitigate the effects of future public health emergencies while ensuring economic and environmental justice.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging ATSDR Funding Increase in FY 2022 – April 2, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to members of the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies urging them to provide $93 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) in the FY 2022 Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. ATSDR establishes and maintains effective relationships with people in communities that are impacted by environmental hazards throughout the nation and assists impacted communities by investigating and addressing their environmental hazards. Additional funding would significantly enhance the agency’s ability to respond to community requests for assistance, fund and support state and local health departments and protect the nation’s health.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter Urging NY to Adopt CA Truck Emission Standards – April 1, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in support of adopting California’s Advanced Clean Trucks (ACT) and Heavy-Duty Omnibus (HDO) regulations. Transportation is the largest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and in New York. On-road vehicles, especially medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs), are also a significant source of toxic pollutants that are harmful to human health. New York must focus on policies that support zero-emission MHDVs. Addressing the MHDV sector will not only reduce the state’s carbon footprint and improve air quality but will also ensure equitable access to clean transportation and improve health in communities historically overburdened by diesel pollution.

AAFA Sends Letter Requesting Assistance Related to ARPA – March 24, 2021
AAFA sent a letter to the Executive Director of the Association of Educational Service Agencies requesting assistance related to the recent passage of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). ARPA includes $122.8 billion for K-12 schools to address a variety of challenges presented by the COVID pandemic. AAFA is asking for help to inform schools and school districts about the importance of making a significant investment to improve clean air in schools. Poor indoor air quality can be a severe health concern for those with asthma and allergies and increases the risks of severe asthma attacks and allergic reactions.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Prioritization of Communities Disproportionately Affected by COVID-19 – March 24, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human (HHS) and Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urging them to ensure funding for COVID-19 public health response activities provided through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act (P.L.117-2) prioritizes the communities of color and tribal communities that are disproportionately affected and underserved. A portion of the funding should be directed to specialized efforts by local, state, tribal and territorial public health agencies encouraged to work in partnership with and provide resources to community-based organizations that build trust, ensure access, and provide culturally competent and linguistically appropriate services.

AAFA Signs Statement Supporting Expanding the ACA – March 22, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a statement for the record to the Committee on Energy and Commerce on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The passage of the ACA resulted in drastic reductions of our nation’s uninsured rate and expanded coverage to millions of patients with pre-existing conditions. The organizations strongly support the steps to improve access to quality and affordable coverage in the American Rescue Plan, and they support the Committee’s continued work on key policies that impact patients with serious and chronic health conditions.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging CDC Climate and Health Program Funding Increase in FY 2022 – March 22, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter urging the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittee to increase funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Climate and Health Program to $50 million in the FY 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. This funding is necessary to help state and local health departments prepare and protect their communities from the health threats posed by climate change that they are already experiencing.

AAFA Sends Letter Supporting HB 2648 – March 22, 2021
AAFA sent a letter to the Chair of the House Committee on Health supporting HB 2648. This bill would allow consumers in Oregon to purchase medicines containing pseudoephedrine (PSE) without a prescription. Oregon is currently the only state that requires a prescription to purchase common cold and allergy medicines containing PSE. This requirement is a significant cost and inconvenience for families who are forced to take time from work to receive a prescription from the doctor. The current prescription requirement makes it more expensive, in terms of time and money, for cold and allergy sufferers to get relief.

AAFA Signs Letter Requesting CDC NCCDPHP Funding Increase in FY 2022 – March 17, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Congress requesting $3.75 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) as it works to draft the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) appropriations legislation for fiscal year (FY) 2022. The current funding for NCCDPHP falls far short of what is needed to prevent chronic disease, slow its spread, and protect those we represent. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated these challenges, and the underfunding of NCCDPHP has made the nation more vulnerable to the pandemic.

AAFA Signs Letter Requesting CDC OHS Funding Increase in FY 2022 – March 17, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Congress requesting a funding increase for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) by $72.5 million, for a total of $310 million in the FY 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. This increase is vitally important in responding to the alarming e-cigarette usage rates among youth and the devastating toll that tobacco continues to take on our nation’s health during the COVID-19 pandemic, especially in disproportionately affected communities.

AAFA Signs Letter Supporting the Quit Because of COVID-19 Act – March 17, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the House of Representatives showing support of the Quit Because of COVID-19 Act, legislation that will ensure that all Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) enrollees have access to the full array of evidence-based tobacco cessation treatments at this critical time. The bill addresses gaps in coverage and would also reduce barriers to accessing this coverage by eliminating cost sharing and prior authorization requirements.

AAFA Sends Letter Urging House Scheduling of the FASTER Act of 2021 – March 12, 2021
AAFA sent a letter to Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of the U.S. House of Representatives urging that he schedules for House floor consideration H.R.1202/S.578, the “Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research Act of 2021” or the “FASTER Act of 2021.” Sesame is the ninth most common food allergy among American adults and children, and allergic reactions to sesame can be even more severe than reactions to the top eight allergens, which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires labeling. Considering the prevalence and severity of sesame allergies, AAFA strongly supports the FASTER Act and its requirement to label sesame products in a manner similar to the eight currently labeled allergens. Uniform and easily understandable labels will help Americans with sesame allergies and their families safely navigate their food choices and avoid preventable reactions.

AAFA Sends Letter Supporting SB127 and Stocking Albuterol in KY Schools – March 10, 2021
AAFA sent a letter to the Kentucky House Standing Committee on Education in support of SB127, an Act relating to student health and safety, which would allow schools to stock albuterol. This bill will improve the health and safety of the estimated 57,000 schoolchildren in Kentucky who are living with asthma, helping manage asthma attacks and mitigating the risk of serious injury or death. It is vital that albuterol be available to treat asthma episodes in the school setting. This move will also be consistent with the state’s policy on epinephrine, an emergency medication for allergic reactions: Kentucky permits schools to maintain a supply of stock epinephrine. This policy should be extended to albuterol.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Expanded Use of Digital Health Technologies – March 5, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the Biden Administration and Congressional leadership supporting the expanded use of digital health technologies in healthcare based on a consistently growing body of evidence demonstrating their ability to improve patient care, reduce hospitalizations, avoid complications, and improve patient engagement (particularly for the chronically ill). The public health emergency exacerbates disparities in health outcomes that long existed between demographics, geographies, and other social determinants of health. The letter urges that these leaders must take advantage of all opportunities available to utilize digital health technology to augment care in a secure and privacy-protective manner for every patient.

AAFA Signs Letter Applauding Introduction of Public Health Funding Prevents Pandemics Act – March 3, 2021
AAFA and over 150 other organizations sent a letter to Senator Richard Blumenthal and Representative Doris Matsui applauding them for the introduction of the Public Health Funding Prevents Pandemics Act, a bill that will restore funding for the Prevention and Public Health Fund (Prevention Fund). The Prevention Fund will help expand and strengthen critical prevention and public health activities that improve our nation’s health and help reduce health care costs. The organizations thank Senator Blumenthal and Representative Matsui for sponsoring the Public Health Funding Prevents Pandemics Act in order to strengthen our nation’s ability to develop innovative programs that can respond to new or existing infectious disease threats, help reduce the burden of chronic disease, and enable Americans to live longer, healthier lives.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging $10 billion in Funding for CDC Programs in FY 2022 – March 1, 2021
AAFA and 192 other organizations, as part of the CDC Coalition, sent a letter to the House and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies leaders. The letter urges the leaders to provide at least $10 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) programs in the FY 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. In addition to ensuring a strong public health infrastructure and protecting Americans from public health threats and emergencies, CDC programs are crucial to reducing health care costs and improving health. Despite the progress CDC has made to meet these needs, the agency’s programs have been woefully underfunded.

AAFA Signs Letter Endorsing the Safe Step Act of 2021 – February 26, 2021
AAFA and other organizations signed an endorsement letter of S. 464, the Safe Step Act of 2021. The purpose of the Safe Step Act is to improve step therapy protocols and ensure patients are able to safely and efficiently access the best treatment for them. Step therapy protocols may ignore a patient’s unique circumstances and medical history. That means patients may have to use medications that previously failed to address their medical issue, or – due to their unique medical conditions – could have dangerous side effects. The bill establishes a clear exemption process, outlines 5 exceptions to ‘fail first’ protocols, and requires a group health plan respond to an exemption request within 72 hours in all circumstances, and 24 hours if the patient’s life is at risk.

AAFA Signs Letter Relating to the Complex Generics Approval Process – February 22, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the Generic Drug User Fee Agreements (GDUFA III). The organizations urge the FDA to commit to increased efficiency of generic reviews and greater attention to the next generation of generic drugs – complex generics – that, by their nature, require a more intensive review. They also ask the FDA to consider process improvements to help alleviate uncertainty in the regulatory review process, particularly for complex generics. Greater availability of generic versions of these medicines would improve accessibility and affordability for those patients who are most likely to already have high medical costs.

AAFA Sends Comment Letter Urging Mandatory Allergen Labeling for Sesame – February 22, 2021
AAFA sent a comment letter expressing appreciation of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) voluntary labeling guidance for sesame, and to urge the FDA to immediately take regulatory action to make these changes mandatory. The voluntary guidance is an important step to prepare and educate industry – but the evidence strongly supports FDA using its existing authorities to immediately initiate rulemaking to make sesame allergen labeling mandatory. AAFA also asks that FDA add sesame to the Compliance Policy Guide, which includes standards for manufacturers to address cross contact with allergens during food production.

AAFA Sends Letter Proposing Priorities for Climate Change – February 19, 2021
AAFA sent a letter to the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate and the National Climate Advisor proposing priority areas to improve public health and to promote environmental justice, in the process addressing asthma as well as many other health conditions affected by climate change. Climate change exacerbates asthma through myriad routes and the steps we need to take to address climate change secure our planet’s future and create immediate and crucial improvements in the health of people living with asthma. The administration’s focus on racial equity and on broadening access to healthcare are important foundations for this work. AAFA wants to highlight to the task force the set of multisectoral strategies that are key to addressing disparities in asthma and in promoting health equity. The interests of the asthma community are truly inseparable from the goals of the climate task force.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Increased Funding for Medicaid – February 18, 2021
AAFA, as part of the Modern Medicaid Alliance, sent a letter calling on Congress to enhance federal financing for Medicaid by increasing states’ Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) by a total of at least 12 percentage points, consistent with the previous request made by the bipartisan National Governors Association. The number of Americans who rely on Medicaid has grown dramatically during the COVID-19 crisis. Without increased funding for Medicaid, hardworking Americans, many of whom are at an increased risk of severe impacts from COVID-19, could be denied access to the essential care they need and deserve.

AAFA Sends Memorandum in Support of A4486/S454 Regarding Sesame Labeling – February 18, 2021
AAFA sent memorandums in support of bill A4486/S454 to Assembly Member Epstein and Senator Biaggi. This bill is an act to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to the labeling of food products containing sesame. Sesame is the ninth most common food allergy among American adults and children, ranking just behind the eight allergens for which FDA requires labeling. Despite the prevalence and severity of sesame allergy, clear labeling of sesame is not currently required. Uniform and easily understandable labels will help Americans with sesame allergies and their families safely navigate their food choices and avoid preventable reactions.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Support of Electric Vehicles – February 18, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Senators and Representatives urging them to support transportation policies that reduce both harmful air pollution and climate pollution at the same time. Transportation pollution has dangerous impacts on health. Vehicle emissions are the greatest single U.S. source of the carbon pollution that causes climate change. Incentivizing the purchase of both new and used electric vehicles is a key part of the solution. However, to achieve the health benefits of electric vehicles, we also need strong investments in the charging infrastructure to support them and a renewable, non-combustion energy sector to power them.

AAFA Sends Letter Proposing Priorities for COVID-19 Equity Task Force – February 17, 2021
AAFA sent a letter to Dr. Nunez-Smith, the COVID-19 Equity Task Force Chair, proposing priority areas that the task force should focus on to address the unacceptable racial and ethnic disparities in the burdens of asthma and COVID in the United States. AAFA believes that COVID-19 has made even more urgent the need to act against health disparities, as the epidemic has starkly mirrored ongoing disparities in asthma and other chronic health conditions in our country. AAFA asks the task force to lead a set of multisectoral strategies that are key to addressing disparities in asthma and in promoting health equity.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Investment in Public Health Infrastructure and Workforce – February 12, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to members of Congress urging them to include a significant, long-term investment in public health infrastructure and workforce. This investment is critical to support the public health system to better respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also to strengthen it before the next pandemic hits and avoid the loss of life and social and economic disruption we are experiencing today. The organizations recommend $4.5 billion in long-term, additional annual funding for CDC, state, local, tribal and territorial core public health infrastructure to modernize the nation’s public health system, rebuild the workforce, and promote healthier communities.

AAFA Sends Memorandum in Support of S.1043 – February 12, 2021
AAFA sent a memorandum in support of bill S.1043 to Senator Ramos. This bill is an act to amend the public health law, in relation to requiring cafeteria staff to be trained in preventing and responding to anaphylaxis. Food allergies are affecting a growing number of American children and adults. Between four and six percent of all children in the U.S. have food allergies. Exposure to the allergen can cause severe reactions, including anaphylaxis and, in rare cases, death. The protection S.1043 provides requiring cafeteria staff to be trained to treat someone suffering anaphylaxis, even for their very first allergic reaction, is life-saving.

AAFA Signs Statement Urging Passing of Medicaid and COVID-Related Public Health Provisions – February 11, 2021
AAFA and 31 other organizations released a statement urging the House Energy and Commerce Committee to advance important provisions that would help support the health and wellbeing of the American public while also slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The organizations appreciate the work of the Energy & Commerce Committee to advance the health and wellbeing of the patient populations they represent during the COVID-19 pandemic. They urge the Committee to pass Medicaid provisions and COVID-Related Public Health provisions and advance them to the House floor.

AAFA Signs Statement Urging Advancement of COVID-19 Relief Measures – February 10, 2021
AAFA and 29 other organizations released a statement urging the House Committee on Ways and Means to advance important legislation that would help support the health and wellbeing of the American public while also slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The letter outlines the ways that the organizations appreciate the work of the Ways and Means Committee to advance the health and wellbeing of the patient populations they represent during the COVID-19 pandemic. The letter urges the Committee to swiftly pass this legislation and advance it to the House floor.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Patient Community Priorities for COVID-19 Legislation – February 1, 2021
AAFA and 27 other organizations sent a letter urging Congress to enact additional legislation that will help support the health and wellbeing of the American public while also slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, particularly among vulnerable populations. The COVID-19 pandemic has made abundantly clear that all people need access to adequate and affordable health insurance coverage now more than ever. The letter urges Congress provide the coverage resources individuals and families need to seek and afford timely treatment and care. Recommendations are included in the letter that will help assure that patients will be protected during this crisis and that our health care system will remain viable and available to them after the crisis.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Patient Community Healthcare Priorities for Reconciliation – February 1, 2021
AAFA and 28 other organizations sent a letter urging Congress to expand access to high-quality, affordable healthcare coverage through the budget reconciliation process. Coverage is more important now than ever, as patients and their families weather the dual crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn. The letter urges the passage of the following policies: increase the availability and generosity of advance premium tax credits (APTCs), fix the ‘family glitch,’ and secure and strengthen the Medicaid program both now and in the future. The organizations want to improve coverage and care for the millions of patients and people with pre-existing conditions.

AAFA Signs Statement Applauding Biden Administration Actions to Protect Those With Pre-Existing Conditions – January 29, 2021
AAFA and other organizations released a statement applauding the much-needed patient protections in two of Executive Orders issued by President Biden on January 28. The Administration decided to open a special enrollment period so that millions of patients and consumers, who have been hard hit by the dual impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn, can enroll in high-quality health insurance coverage. The executive orders also make strides in unwinding the policies that have blocked some patients’ access to the Medicaid program, including work requirements. The announcements represent the first of what the organizations hope are many improvements aimed at better serving the millions of people with pre-existing conditions.

AAFA Signs 2021 Declaration on Climate Change and Health – January 26, 2021
AAFA and other public health, patient advocacy, nursing and medical organizations declare climate change a health emergency and call for immediate action to protect the public’s health from the current and future impacts of climate change in the 2021 Declaration on Climate Change and Health. These organizations call on President Biden, members of the Administration, and members of Congress to heed the clear scientific evidence and take steps now to reduce pollution that drives climate change and harms health.

AAFA Signs Statement Responding to ‘Censoring Science’ Final Rules – January 11, 2021
AAFA and other organizations released a statement in response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final “Strengthening Transparency in Pivotal Science Underlying Significant Regulatory Actions and Influential Scientific Information” rule, often called the “Censoring Science” rule. Under this finalized rule, scientific studies may be excluded from consideration entirely or may be given lesser consideration in the policymaking process if their underlying data is not made public. For many studies, making this data public is not possible without violating researchers’ obligation to keep the personal information of their study participants private. The organizations call on President-elect Biden to repeal this rule as soon as he takes office and for the President-elect and EPA to immediately get to work on measures to clean up air pollution and address climate change, and to ensure that they are based on sound science.

AAFA Signs NEA Comment Letter Concerning the Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis – January 8, 2021
AAFA signed on as support to a comment letter sent by the National Eczema Association (NEA) to the President of Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER). The letter states how the NEA is looking forward to working with the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) as a “Key Stakeholder” during the development of the report entitled “JAK Inhibitors and Monoclonal Antibodies for the Treatment of Atopic Dermatitis: Effectiveness and Value.” The letter submits comments and questions to the draft background and scoping document published on December 10, 2020 for ICER’s consideration as they develop research protocol.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging the HHS to Rescind Requirements Guidance Given to State Medicaid Programs – January 8, 2021
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Secretary-Designate Xavier Becerra of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) urging him to rescind guidance (SMD 18-002) to state Medicaid programs regarding work and community engagement requirements upon taking office. These requirements reduce healthcare coverage for patients who need access to care. The organizations are dedicated to working with the Administration, Members of Congress and state governments to ensure coverage is affordable, accessible and adequate for patients, including those who rely upon Medicaid for their healthcare coverage. Work requirement policies significantly harm access to care for patients, including those with serious and chronic health conditions, in the Medicaid program.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on Patient Protection and the ACA; Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2022 – December 28, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the ‘Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; HHS Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2022.’ The organizations recognize and appreciate provisions of the proposed rule that would expand patients’ access to ACA coverage through new special enrollment periods (SEPs) and extension of the temporary premium tax credits. However, they are concerned that many of the other policies included in the 2022 Notice of Proposed Benefit and Payment Parameters (NBPP) would negatively impact patients’ access to comprehensive coverage provided through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Exchanges and shift additional health care costs and administrative burden to qualified health plan (QHP) enrollees.

2020

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Immediate Withdrawal of the MFN Rule – December 23, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) urging the immediate, full withdrawal of the Most Favored Nation (MFN) rule. The MFN model is not in the best interest of America and would disproportionately harm senior, patients, people with disabilities, people of color and other vulnerable communities. For these populations, access to the care they need in a timely manner is critical. The MFN rule would jeopardize the ability of these populations to access the care needed to achieve their individual optimal health outcomes. The organizations urge the administration to abide by current statue, which forbids the use certain metrics in public programs and abandon the MFN model. They encourage working directly with patients and people with disabilities to determine a way to lower health care costs that does not undermine access to care.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Immediate Delay of the MFN Model – December 22, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to members of the U.S. House and Senate urging them to pass legislation to require an immediate delay of the Most Favored Nation (MFN) Model for Medicare Part B drugs. As a result of the MFN Model, Medicare patients with deadly and debilitating conditions will face massive hurdles in accessing critical therapies and seniors will be forced to accept less effective treatments, or will lose access entirely – causing deadly or costly complications that could have been prevented. This new policy will force providers to decide between accepting reimbursement rates lower than the price they pay for drugs and choosing less-optimal treatments for their patients.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter On Policy Revisions in Response to the COVID-19 Health Emergency – December 18, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter to the Administrator of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on CMS-9912-IFC, “Additional Policy and Regulatory Revisions in Response to the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency.” The organizations are deeply concerned by the IFC provisions related to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Medicaid maintenance of effort (MOE) provisions and those allowing states to circumvent required transparency procedures for §1332 waivers. They appreciate some of the steps that CMS has taken to extend coverage of a COVID-19 vaccine without cost-sharing, but continue to have concerns about critical gaps in coverage, including vaccine coverage for the patients they represent.

AAFA Signs Statement Urging Congress to End Surprise Medical Billing – December 16, 2020
AAFA and other organizations released a statement applauding Congressional committee leaders for reaching an agreement to address surprise medical billing and urges Congress to quickly enact it. The No Surprises Act represents a significant step toward the goal of ending surprise medical billing and is an improvement for patients over the status quo, but patients are frustrated that they are exposed to surprise medical bills stemming from COVID treatment at a time when they are concerned about their physical and financial wellbeing. The organizations urge lawmakers to advance this legislation before this Congress adjourns.

AAFA Signs Letter Expressing Gratitude to Representative Eliot Engel – December 16, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Representative Eliot Engel expressing gratitude for the leadership he has shown as co-chair of the Congressional Asthma and Allergy Caucus. He has stood by the asthma and allergy communities and advanced policies with the goal of alleviating the burden of asthma and allergy in this nation. As a result of his leadership, there has been increasing funding for the National Asthma Control Program (NACP) and Representative Engel has championed the Elijah E. Cummings Family Asthma Act. The organization also wish to thank him for being a constant source of protection and reassurance.

AAFA Sends Letter to Biden Transition Team Concerning the Racial and Ethnic Disparities in the Burden of Asthma – December 16, 2020
AAFA sent a letter to President-Elect Biden and Vice President Elect-Harris recommending priority policy areas to focus on to address asthma and, in particular, the racial and ethnic disparities in the burden of asthma in the United States. AAFA believes that the ongoing disparities in asthma and other chronic health conditions in our country combined with the current COVID-19 pandemic have made the need to act for health equity even more urgent. The letter outlines policy proposals that are detailed in AAFA’s recent report, Asthma Disparities in America: A Roadmap to Reducing the Burden on Racial and Ethnic Minorities, as well as specific examples to address asthma disparities. Because of the broad roots of asthma disparities, achieving health equity will require approaches that include but extend far beyond the health care and public health systems.

AAFA Signs Letter to Biden Transition Team Urging Prioritization of Health Care Commitments – December 10, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to President-elect Joe Biden and the Presidential Transition Co-Chairs urging that the combating of COVID-19 and addressing the pressing health care needs of all our country’s individuals and families must be the highest priority. Work on these issues will be key to turning the tide of the pandemic, restoring our economy, and saving lives. It will also set the course for the health and well-being of every family in America for decades to come. The organizations urge the President-elect and transition team to prioritize the health care commitments made during the campaign in the first year of your administration, and that they be central to the first 100 days agenda.

AAFA Sends Letter to Senator Schumer Encouraging Support of H.R. 2468 – December 5, 2020
AAFA sent a letter to Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer of New York encouraging him to support the School-Based Allergies and Asthma Management Program Act (H.R. 2468), a bipartisan bill passed by the House on September 29, 2020. The bill is now before the Senate, and AAFA asks that Minority Leader Schumer considers including it with the forthcoming spending package. H.R. 2468 would increase the preference given in awarding certain allergies and asthma-related grants to states that require allergies and asthma management plans and allow trained school personnel to administer rescue medications for allergies and asthma. H.R. 2468 would address several policy gaps to promote the health and learning of all children with asthma.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Protections Against Surprise Medical Billing – December 4, 2020
AAFA and 27 other organizations sent a letter to members of Congress to immediately enact legislation to permanently end all forms of surprise medical billing. Patients with serious and chronic conditions routinely require medical treatment to maintain their health. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, patients are being asked to shift their care to different providers and facilities to minimize exposure or to ensure patients with COVID have the ability to seek and receive treatment away from those who may be at risk of infection. These shifts, while necessary to contain the virus, may result in out-of-network care – increasing consumers’ risk of receiving a surprise medical bill. The letter urges Congress to move quickly to include comprehensive protections for patients and consumers in any end of the year legislative package.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter Urging Withdrawal of HHS Proposed Rule – December 4, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter to the Secretary of the U.S Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the proposed rule ‘Securing Updated and Necessary Statutory Evaluations Timely.’ The letter urges the HHS to immediately withdraw the proposed rule as the impact on programs that provide coverage to millions of Americans, including those who are low-income, people of color and individuals with pre-existing conditions, is unacceptable. The proposed forcing mechanism would disrupt the operation of healthcare programs including Medicaid, CHIP, and the Marketplace by creating regulatory uncertainty for stakeholders, and it would divert the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) resources from what should be the highest priority: ensuring that these programs respond effectively as possible to the pandemic.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Increased Funding of CDC’s OHS – December 2, 2020
AAFA and 51 other organizations sent a letter to the House and Senate leaders of the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies urging them to fund the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) at the House-passed funding level of $240 million. The House-passed level provides a $10 million increase for OSH and is vitally important to respond to alarming e-cigarette usage rates among youth and the devastating toll that tobacco continues to take on our nation’s health during the COVID-19 pandemic. OSH has a vital role to play in addressing this serious public health problem and additional resources will allow OSH to address youth e-cigarette use while continuing to prevent and reduce other forms of tobacco use.

AAFA Signs Letter to Biden EPA Team Regarding COVID-19, Climate, Children and Schools – November 30, 2020
AAFA and 21 other organizations sent a letter to the President Elect-Biden Transition Team calling for the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to improve and promote school environments to ensure children’s health and learning. The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare many disparities, but perhaps none so critical as the lack of preparedness and lack of resiliency of schools to COVID and to climate disasters. Importantly for reopening amid an ongoing airborne pandemic, that includes lack of ventilation and poor indoor air/environmental quality in schools. The EPA Team can also help ensure that efforts to rebuild better schools are also addressed and the letter requests a meeting with the EPA team to discuss the issues and the deep need for quick and strategic actions.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging CDC Program Funding in FY 2021 Spending Bills – November 24, 2020
AAFA, as part of the CDC Coalition, sent a letter to the Appropriations Committee leaders and House and Senate leadership regarding the FY 2021 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. The organizations urge support of at least the House level of $7.926 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) programs in any final FY 2021 spending package and to oppose any efforts to reduce or eliminate funding for any of CDC’s critical programs. They also urge additional emergency supplemental funding to ensure our federal, state and local health departments and agencies have the resources they need to protect the public from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including adequate resources for vaccine allocation, distribution and administration.

AAFA Sends Letter Urging the FDA to Make Sesame Allergen Labeling Mandatory – November 24, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) supporting the issuance of draft guidance to industry regarding disclosure of sesame as an allergen but urging the agency to swiftly act to make sesame allergen labeling mandatory. The draft guidance is an important step because it signals to manufacturers that they need to begin to address their sesame labeling practices. However, a voluntary system does little to help consumers with sesame allergy. The lack of sesame on a label will not necessarily mean a product is safe – it could simply mean that a manufacturer has chosen not to implement the “recommended” labeling. Therefore, the organizations strongly urge the FDA to move quickly, via rulemaking, to mandate allergen labeling for sesame.

AAFA Signs Letter to President Elect-Biden Outlining COVID-19 Health Priorities – November 23, 2020
AAFA and 31 other organizations sent a letter to President Elect Joseph R. Biden urging him to take immediate steps upon assuming office that will help support the health and wellbeing of the American public while also slowing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, particularly among vulnerable populations. The COVID-19 pandemic has made abundantly clear that all people need access to adequate and affordable health insurance coverage now more than ever. The letter outlines three priorities that are critical to ensuring quality health insurance coverage is affordable and accessible: private coverage, Medicaid and essential medications. Recommendations are listed with each priority that will help President Elect-Biden assure that patients will be protected during this crisis and that our health care system will remain viable and available to them after the crisis.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Federal Financing Enhancement for Medicaid – November 18, 2020
AAFA, as part of the Modern Medicaid Alliance, sent a letter to Congress urging the enhancement of federal financing for Medicaid by increasing states’ Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) to a total of at least 12 percentage points, consistent with the request made by the bipartisan National Governors Association. The organizations urge Congress to include dedicated funds for Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS). The number of Americans who rely on Medicaid has grown dramatically during the COVID-19 crisis. Without increased funding for Medicaid, hardworking Americans most at-risk could be denied access to the essential care they need and deserve. This is especially true for People of Color – who have been hardest hit by the crisis – with Medicaid providing coverage for more than 1 in 4 Black and Hispanic adults.

AAFA Sends Letter Urging $33 Million Funding for NACP in FY 2021 – November 17, 2020
AAFA sent a letter urging the Senate and House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies to fund the National Asthma Control Program (NACP) at the House-approved level of $33 million in fiscal year (FY) 2021 to ensure the program can continue to meet the needs of funded-states as well as add additional states to expand our nation’s response to asthma. The NACP serves as the nation’s preeminent agency for reducing the incidence of asthma, as well as asthma-related emergency room visits and deaths. Currently, the NACP funds projects in 25 state, territorial, and municipal partners. Funding the NACP at $33 million will ensure the program can continue to meet the needs of funded states and allow for better surveillance, management and treatment of asthma.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter Regarding PCORI Proposed Principles for Full Range of Outcomes Data – November 13, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter regarding the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Proposed Principles for the Consideration of the Full Range of Outcomes Data. The organizations hope that PCORI will provide guidance to researchers that the ultimate goal of collecting this data is to improve patient and caregiver decision making and care. PCORI should be clear that the collection of this data is not intended to support restricted coverage of items and services for people with disabilities and chronic conditions that may need them. The letter urges PCORI to work closely with stakeholders to determine the additional outcomes that will be collected under the new statutory provisions and to make publicly available which outcomes and analyses will be considered in future research. PCORI should ensure that new Methodology Committee members are appointed who have appropriate expertise in the collection and communication of patient-level data, including patient preference information, and its translation into high quality shared decision-making tools and innovative methods for assessing treatment value.

AAFA Signs Letter Regarding Major Insurers Changing Telehealth Copays – November 10, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent letters to AHIP and other major insurers surrounding changes made to many health insurers website that they are not or soon will no longer be waiving copayments and deductibles for certain telehealth visits for patients during the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PHE). These organizations represent individuals with acute and chronic conditions, who often require ongoing monitoring and evaluation by medical professionals to maintain their health and which telehealth has proven to be critical. This has enabled patients to be cared for by their health care providers from the safety of their homes. The organizations urge all health insurers to waive patient cost-sharing, including deductibles and co-pays, for telehealth services, for at least the duration of the COVID-19 PHE. Eliminating this important health access barrier will help protect the health of some of the most vulnerable members of our society many of whom continue to be disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

AAFA Signs Letter Supporting Safety-Net Providers and the 340B Drug Pricing Program – October 30, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services sharing their concern about some pharmaceutical manufacturers’ recent actions to limit access to discounted prices for certain prescription drugs purchased by safety-net hospitals, health centers, and clinics. Congress created the 340B drug pricing program to support safety-net providers, treat patients in need, and offer vital services. Threats to the safety net are concerning stakeholders representing the patient, provider, consumer, and social justice organizations’ needs. Actions that limit access to prescription drugs purchased by safety-net hospitals, health centers, and clinics will harm communities of color, low-income, and rural populations. This further divides and disproportionately impacts racially and ethnically diverse communities.

AAFA Signs Statement Sharing “The 100 Days Agenda: a Patient-First Blueprint” – October 13, 2020
AAFA, as part of a coalition of 33 organizations representing millions of people with pre-existing conditions, shared “The 100 Days Agenda: A Patient-First Blueprint” that outlines specific steps the President and other elected officials can immediately take to protect patients once sworn into office in January. The report elevates the collective voices of patients and urges elected officials to ensure all people living in the United States, including those with pre-existing conditions, have access to adequate and affordable health coverage. The policy agenda provides guidance on how policymakers, including the Administration, can leverage each of the three branches of government to protect patients and strengthen our system of care. It also includes steps policymakers can take to address harmful policies that undermine patient protections, including protections for those with pre-existing conditions.

AAFA Signs Letter About Impact on Voters with Serious and Chronic Diseases During COVID-19 – October 2, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the National Governors Association encouraging governors to take steps to ensure that the most vulnerable populations maintain the ability to exercise their right to vote as the 2020 general election approaches and the U.S. continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. Patients with serious conditions are currently very cautious about why and how often they leave their homes. It is important that states offer similar flexibilities for these patients so they can take part in the election process safely and that in cases where rare, serious and chronic disease voters do decide to exercise their right to vote they may do so in a safe manner. The organizations also recommend that officials establish procedures to protect voters during future pandemics.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter to EPA on Proposed Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards – October 1 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter to the EPA on the proposed Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Strong ozone standards that reflect the current science are critical for ensuring that everyone has equitable access to clear air. The organizations are deeply concerned by the health threats from breathing ground-level ozone pollution and have a strong interest in standards that adequately protect our members, patients and communities. EPA’s proposed health-based ozone standard is at odds with the best available science, endangers public health, violates the Clean Air Act, and suffers from fatal procedural errors. The organizations urge EPA to reconsider the proposal and set the primary standard at no higher than 60 parts per billion (ppb).

AAFA and Other Organizations Release Telehealth Principles – September 24, 2020
AAFA and other organizations representing millions of patients who live with serious, acute, and chronic conditions released principles to guide policymakers seeking to ensure patients can continue to safely access appropriate telehealth services during and after the COVID-19 public health emergency. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical role telehealth can play in helping all patients continue to receive timely and safe health care services and treatments from their providers. The organizations believe telehealth can and should be used to increase patient access to care. To permanently integrate it into the US health care system and ensure its integration drives the best care possible, new legislation and regulation will be necessary.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging a Science Focus Over Politics in the COVID-19 Fight – September 22, 2020
AAFA and other organizations signed a letter directed to the leaders of federal health care agencies urging them to rise above the political considerations and focus on providing the American public with information about the well-established guidelines in place to ensure safe and effective COVID-19 prevention, detection, and treatment. The development of safe, effective vaccines and treatments are essential to protect the public’s health and restore the nation’s economy. Information and decisions that are perceived as anything less than science-based weaken the public’s confidence in research and innovation, and hinder adherence to mitigation efforts.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Enactment of FY2021 Defense Appropriations Act – September 10, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter urging Congress to work toward the enactment of the fiscal year 2021 Defense Appropriations Act, to ensure that the Defense Health Research Programs, including the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP), are fully funded in fiscal year 2021. The organizations are particularly concerned about the possibility of Congress enacting a year-long continuing resolution in lieu of completing the fiscal year 2021 Defense Appropriations Act. Under a year-long continuing resolution the CDMRP would receive no funding in fiscal year 2021. Failure to enact the Defense Appropriations Act will have major negative health implications for the millions of Americans – especially veterans, military service members and their families – who live with chronic and debilitating disorders. This will delay important new discoveries and translation of medical innovation into new treatments and cures for many disorders.

AAFA Signs Letter Requesting Comment Extension for Proposal to NAAQS – August 26, 2020
AAFA and other health and medical organizations sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requesting an extension for the comment deadline on the proposal to “Retain the Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards” to at least 60 additional days after the end of the national emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic, or 60 additional days after the close of the currently scheduled comment period, whichever is later. The National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone is vital for public health. A comment period for a rule such as this merits full public participation, especially from health and medical professionals who treat patients suffering from health issues related to air pollution and/or perform research on air pollution impacts. The organizations also request that EPA provide additional opportunities for public input.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Medicare Part D Copay Assistance – August 19, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter urging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to rescind the current ban on the use of copay cards in the Medicare Part D program at least through the current Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Medicare beneficiaries are struggling to pay their drug copayments now more than ever. The HHS should exercise the Office of the Inspector General’s (OIG) enforcement discretion and issue a policy statement announcing that, for the period of the public health emergency, penalties will not be imposed on healthcare providers and suppliers that offer patient support programs to subsidize Medicare Part D beneficiary out-of-pocket costs. By improving access to necessary medications, we believe this important step will improve patient outcomes through better adherence to prescription regimens.

AAFA Signs Statement Opposing EPA Move to Rollback Protections from Oil and Gas – August 13, 2020
AAFA and other organizations released a statement opposing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) announcement that it is finalizing its proposal to weaken methane protections from the EPA’s New Source Performance Standards. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas that is driving climate change, which makes air pollution worse. Exposure to air pollution from oil and gas development increases the risk of respiratory illness, and as COVID-19 continues to spread across the country, swift action must be taken to enhance key public health measures to keep people safe. The organizations call on EPA to keep these standards fully in place to limit air pollution and protect public health.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on EPA’s Proposed Clean Air Act Rulemaking Process – August 3, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter to the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, ‘Increasing Consistency and Transparency in Considering Benefits and Costs in the Clean Air Act Rulemaking Process.’ The organizations strongly oppose the proposed rule as it is unnecessary and raises concerns about EPA’s ability to carry out the core principles of the Clean Air Act and urge the EPA to withdraw the proposal. There are invaluable health benefits to cleaning up air pollutants that could be further ignored under this proposed rule. In proposing this rule, EPA is opening up the opportunity for less protective air pollution standards and leaving the health of the American public hanging in the balance.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Climate Health After COVID-19 – July 21, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Senators/Representatives stating that the U.S. must not only respond to the current crisis and improve preparedness to guard against future threats, it must also protect public health for the future by reducing greenhouse gases and other dangerous air pollutants at the same time. Air pollution poses a threat to the lung, heart, and developmental health of Americans, and is a particular threat to children, the elderly, and individuals with pre-existing conditions. The organizations outline opportunities as a first step that will have a multitude of benefits to public health, both immediately and into the future. They ask that any actions taken to create a post-COVID-19 world do not weaken the Clean Air Act or its authority granted to the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate emissions.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on NPRM Provision Increasing Barriers to Access of Care – July 20, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter to the Administrator of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on the recent Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM). The organizations are concerned that the proposed rule contains a provision that will increase barriers to access of care and put those individuals struggling with chronic and debilitating disease at risk for further health complications. The provision would require drug manufacturers to include the value of cost-sharing assistance when calculating best price unless they are able to prove that individuals utilizing patient assistance programs, such as copay assistance, are receiving 100% of intended benefits. The organizations are concerned that this burden of proof will undermine manufacturers’ ability to continue offering patient assistance programs to individuals in the larger commercial market. Many patients rely on these programs in order to afford vital drugs and treatments.

AAFA Signs Statement Urging EPA to Strengthen Ozone Standard – July 13, 2020
AAFA and other organizations released a statement urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set a stronger limits on ozone pollution to protect public health. EPA has proposed keeping the standard for ozone pollution. There is powerful, overwhelming evidence that shows that this standard is not adequate to protect the health of Americans. EPA’s proposal violates the core purpose of these standards under the Clean Air Act: to protect public health with an adequate margin of safety. Ozone pollution is dangerous. It can cause respiratory harm, asthma attacks, COPD exacerbations, heart attacks, strokes and premature death. EPA’s proposal ignores the long-standing wealth of scientific evidence pointing to the need for a more protective standard. The organizations urge EPA to listen to the best scientific evidence and the Clean Air Act and set the ozone pollution standard at no higher than 60 ppb to safeguard public health.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Congress to Strengthen Medicaid Program in COVID-19 Relief Packages – June 30, 2020
AAFA, as part of the Modern Medicaid Alliance, sent a letter to Congress urging it to take immediate action to strengthen America’s Medicaid program in pending and future COVID-19 relief packages. The Alliance calls on Congress to enhance federal financing for Medicaid by increasing states’ Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) by at least 12 percentage points, consistent with the request made by the bipartisan National Governors Association. Increased federal funding is urgently needed to continue delivering care and services that are critical to the growing number of Americans who rely on the Medicaid program. Over the past 50 years, Medicaid has played a critical role in helping Americans when they need it most and has acted as a safety net for vulnerable populations to receive high-quality, cost-effective care. More than 70 million Americans are enrolled in Medicaid. Medicaid programs are offering additional services at low or no cost in order to support patients and help stop the spread of COVID-19.

AAFA Signs Letter Supporting Electronic Labeling of Prescribing Information – June 29, 2020
AAFA and other organizations, as supporters of the Alliance to Modernize Prescribing Information (AMPI), sent a letter urging Congress to remove all language from the FY2021 appropriations bill that would prevent the use of electronic labeling. Electronic labeling of prescribing information will help ensure that providers have access to the most up-to-date information available almost instantaneously, instead of the average 8-12 months that it often takes to develop, print, and deliver a paper label for prescribers. FDA published a proposed rule in 2014 (79 Fed. Reg. 75506) that would provide for electronic distribution of prescribing information for human prescription drugs and biological products. Congress has used the appropriations process to block FDA from implementing its proposed rule. The letter supports efforts to advance regulatory or legislative reforms to facilitate the dissemination of FDA-approved pharmaceutical labeling information via modern digital platforms.

AAFA Signs Letter Requesting Increased COVID-19 Testing to Vulnerable Communities – June 29, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Congress requesting that as it continues to work to provide relief to Americans affected by the current COVID-19 pandemic, the efforts to increase COVID-19 testing nationwide address the needs of our most vulnerable communities being hit hardest by the pandemic. The ongoing crisis has shined a light on existing health disparities that have left communities of color at increased risk of health complications and mortality during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, racial and ethnic minorities are overrepresented in low-income communities and are less likely to have access to health insurance, transportation to a doctor’s appointment, or savings to finance an emergency room visit. To bridge these unjust gaps in health equity and access, we must start by bringing testing and contact tracing that is culturally and linguistically appropriate into areas and communities facing the highest risk of COVID-19 spread, complications, and mortality. It is imperative that we address the needs of Americans whose health, socio-economic status, race, and zip code have put them at a disproportionately high risk of dire consequences related to COVID-19.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on EPA’s Proposed Rule on the NAAQS for Particulate Matter – June 26, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a comment letter to the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the proposed rule on the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter (Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0072). Clear and compelling scientific evidence gained since EPA’s last particulate matter NAAQS review shows that that fine particulate matter (PM 2.5) exposure is far more lethal and dangerous than previously understood. These public health impacts are wide-reaching and significant, and disproportionately affect vulnerable populations. The organizations oppose EPA’s proposal to retain current, inadequate standards for PM 2.5, and strongly urge the agency to strengthen the standards. EPA’s proposed fine particulate matter standards are at odds with the best available science, endanger public health, and violate the Clean Air Act. Science and public health protection must prevail over any other consideration when EPA sets the final NAAQS for particulate matter.

AAFA Signs Letter Requesting Comment Extension for Proposed EPA Clean Air Act – June 17, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Andrew Wheeler, the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requesting an extension of the comment deadline on the proposed rule “Increasing Consistency in Considering Benefits and Costs in the Clean Air Act Rulemaking Process.” The requested extension is for at least 30 additional days after the end of the national emergency declared in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, or 30 additional days after the close of the currently scheduled comment period, whichever is later. EPA’s proposed rule could have profound implications for all future EPA rulemakings. Ending the established practice of including important secondary costs and benefits of proposed rules would diminish consideration of co-benefits in future cost-benefit analyses. Further, the proposal itself offers vague, unclear guidelines for eliminating the use of co-benefits. This lack of clarity places a significant burden on parties commenting to analyze for themselves the potential far-reaching impacts of EPA’s proposal. The organizations also request that EPA provide additional opportunities for public input, either virtually or, if it is safe to gather, in person.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter Regarding Cancellation of CBER APAC Open Session – June 16, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the FDA regarding its decision to cancel the May 15, 2020, the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research’s (CBER) Allergenic Products Advisory Committee (APAC) open session to discuss and make recommendations on the safety and efficacy of Peanut (Arachis hypogaea) Allergen Extract manufactured by DBV Technologies, S.A for treatment of patients 4 through 11 years old with a confirmed diagnosis of peanut allergy. The letter acknowledges that the COVID-19 pandemic may impact FDA’s ability to a timely review and the hosting of a traditional open public hearing on this matter; however, the organizations feel strongly the community deserves a formal opportunity to be heard regarding this important topic. Significant unmet need remains for the 3 million Americans living with peanut allergy. As peanut allergy prevalence continues to rise at alarming rates, it is imperative that FDA accelerate access to safe and effective treatments.

AAFA Signs Letter Sharing Concerns About ICER’s COVID-19 Pricing Models – June 10, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), to share concerns about its Alternative Pricing Models for Remdesivir and Other Potential Treatments for COVID-19. The communities of the organizations are particularly vulnerable during the current COVID-19 crisis, being at heightened risk for severe disease when contracting the virus. The new value assessment, also intended for use on future treatments for COVID-19, is riddled with methodological flaws due to its hasty development and completely ignores the tremendous amount of stakeholder feedback ICER has received over the last five years on its framework and processes. This cost effectiveness model devalues the lives of older adults and ignores crucial benefits to patients and society. ICER’s models are based on flawed assumptions. The organizations urge ICER to pause any future development of assessments related to COVID-19 and focus on partnering with stakeholders in the development of rigorous and patient-centered methodologies.

AAFA’s Letter on Racial Justice from President and CEO, Kenneth Mendez – June 5, 2020
The losses of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and so many others who have been unjustly killed are a horrific reminder that racism is a sickness that’s plagued us far longer than COVID-19. We’re seeing COVID-19 take a disproportionate toll on Black, Native and Hispanic Americans. The same sharp inequities exist in the population we serve affected by asthma. The violence aimed at Black Americans and the health disparities we’d like to eradicate both have the shameful link of extreme racial bias. We want you to know that we are here for you. In the coming weeks, AAFA is set to release a new report on asthma disparities in the United States. This is one part of AAFA’s multi-year, strategic focus to dramatically reduce asthma disparities for underserved and marginalized groups. We trust the core values we embody at AAFA reflect everyone’s desire to act against racism, injustice and all forms of inequity. AAFA is going to keep fighting for you and alongside you, and we’re not going to stop until we achieve equality for all.

AAFA Signs Letter Requesting Comment Extension on Review of the NAAQS for PM – May 29, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Andrew Wheeler, the Administrator of the U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requesting an extension of the comment period on the Review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for Particulate Matter (PM). The requested extension is for at least 30 additional days after the end of the national emergency declared in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, or 30 additional days after the close of the originally scheduled comment period to July 28, 2020, whichever is later. The particulate matter standards drive pollution cleanup and will impact the health and well-being of millions of Americans. The setting of standards that are requisite to protect the public health with an adequate margin of safety is a core obligation required by the Clean Air Act. The organizations believe that an extension of this comment period will provide them and other stakeholders, particularly those in the health and medical community, greater opportunity for full and meaningful public participation.

AAFA Sends Letter Concerning the FDA Relaxing Food Labeling Requirements – May 28, 2020
AAFA sent a letter, signed by 13 other organizations, to Dr. Susan Mayne, the Director of the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the FDA’s recent guidance relaxing certain food labeling requirements for industry in the context of the COVID epidemic. The letter recommends that the FDA require a manufacturer that makes any substitution to simply put a statement detailing the change in ingredient(s) on their website, including date and lot information, and to use their social media to help disseminate this message. The organizations recognize both the dire situation prompting this temporary guidance, as well as the FDA’s effort to include language specific to food allergy, including the top eight as well as sesame and other increasingly prevalent allergies. With a clear requirement that all substitutions be posted publicly, they feel confident that the risk to the consumer can be minimized to no more than baseline.

AAFA Signs Letter Opposing EPA’s SNPRM to Transparency Rule – May 18, 2020
AAFA and 54 other organizations sent a letter strongly opposing the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking (SNPRM) to the “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science” proposed rulemaking. Like the original proposed rule, this supplemental proposal would undermine sound science and put Americans’ health and the environment at risk. The supplemental proposal goes further than EPA’s original proposal by dramatically expanding the scope of the rulemaking. By including “influential scientific information” in addition to significant regulatory actions, EPA’s ability to use the best science available is further restricted. The organizations are deeply concerned with EPA’s continued efforts to impede the use of critical science and implore the agency to withdraw the proposal.

AAFA Signs Letter Sent to VP of Patient Engagement at ICER – May 12, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Yvette Venable, Vice President of Patient Engagement, at the Institute of Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) applauding the creation of her position and to offer to partner with her in her work. The organizations hope to work with Ms. Venable to ensure that ICER develops and implements a robust and meaningful patient engagement framework. These organizations have worked across the spectrum of health care – including life sciences innovation, payer decision-making and value assessment – with missions to improve the quality of life for patients and people with disabilities. They hope that Ms. Venable will engage with them and take advantage of their real-world patient engagement experiences and lessons learned.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Proper Policies for Food Allergies Upon Schools Reopening – May 6, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Dr. Robert R. Redfield, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) concerning the CDC’s draft guidance for reopening schools that recommend “students eat lunch in their classrooms.” While understanding the need for a policy change with respect to how children eat at school to help maximize physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the organizations’ concern is to ensure the safety of the millions of food allergic children attending school, where food allergens will now be increasingly present in the classroom as a result of the accommodations outlined in the draft guidance. The recommendation would be that in any classroom where there is a food allergic child, to reinforce strict handwashing with soap and water after food contact, disinfecting of surfaces after food contact is made, and blanket “do not share” food policy. Also, prior to teachers and school leaders returning they should refresh their understanding of food allergies, the medical conditions of their individual students, and the symptoms of food allergic reactions as well as how to appropriately respond.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Withdraw From California v. Texas – May 6, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Ken Paxton, the Attorney General of Texas, urging him to withdraw from current litigation, California v. Texas, that is challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Today, the ACA ensures that millions of Americans can seek diagnosis and treatment for COVID-19-related conditions. In the face of a pandemic, preserving the protections afforded by health insurance coverage for such a sizable portion of the population is vital. Also complicating the public health emergency are the economic consequences, which have precipitated a sharp recession. With unemployment rising, the ACA will provide a safety net for millions of vulnerable Americans. For the many who lose their job and, consequently, their employer-sponsored health coverage, the ACA’s subsidized marketplace plans, accessible through federal- and state-run exchanges, can offer affordable options. The United States cannot risk destabilizing its already-strained health care sector by eliminating a deeply-entrenched law that offers important public health benefits. Nor can millions of Americans afford to lose access to COVID-19 treatment, vaccines and health care generally.

AAFA Endorses Asthma & Allergy Caucus Letter to the FDA About Shortage of Albuterol Inhalers – April 24, 2020
AAFA endorsed a letter sent to Commissioner Stephen Hanh, M.D. of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by the Asthma & Allergy Caucus about shortages of albuterol inhalers during the COVID-19 pandemic, which are critical to effective asthma management. In a press release sent by the Asthma & Allergy Caucus, AAFA’s President and CEO Kenneth Mendez states, “With the increased demand for albuterol cannisters from hospitals, we want to make sure there’s ready access of albuterol for people with asthma. Albuterol is the primary rescue medication to treat asthma attacks and without albuterol, people are more likely to experience asthma attacks that they can’t control. This could potentially increase hospitalizations. Our hope is that state, federal and private sectors coordinate efforts to protect access to asthma drugs before any official shortage is recorded.”

AAFA Signs Letter to FDA Urging Public Disclosure of Certain Tobacco Products – April 23, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter urging the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to disclose the information necessary for the public to know the products for which premarket applications have been filed and are undergoing the premarket review mandated by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, as well as to identify those products still being marketed in violation of that statute. The disclosure of this information is necessary to allow the public to determine the extent of industry compliance with the court-ordered deadline for filing premarket applications, as well as to monitor the FDA’s enforcement of the September 9 deadline going forward. The disclosure by the FDA of a list of new and deemed products for which a September 9 filing was necessary to continue on the market free of possible FDA enforcement actions also would materially assist the public in knowing whether new tobacco products continue to be marketed even though their manufacturers did not meet the September 9 deadline.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Legislation to Ensure the Accessibility of Care – April 23, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter urging Congress, as they are taking action responding to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, to advance legislation that ensures all families across our nation have the ability to seek the care they need to stay healthy. The organizations encourage Congress to build on past bipartisan efforts and ensure all individuals have equitable access to testing and treatment for COVID-19; equip states and localities with sufficient financial support to combat the crisis; provide protection and support to the health care workforce and others on the frontlines of the pandemic; assure access and capacity in the health system; and protect against high and unexpected health care costs.

AAFA Signs Letter Opposing Rule Undermining the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards – April 16, 2020
AAFA and 21 other health and medical groups released a statement opposing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announcing a final rule that threatens to undermine the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards. The rule goes against scientific evidence, and devalues and endangers the health of babies, children, pregnant women, and many other vulnerable populations. Limits on mercury and air toxics are backed by the health and medical community, members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, faith-based organizations, and even many electric power companies. These protections have been in place for eight years. They are working to keep our air clean and safe. This rule could erode public health and set a dangerous precedent. With this rule, the agency rejected scientific evidence showing that limits on mercury and air toxics are ‘appropriate and necessary’ to protect health, claiming that the costs of the standards outweigh the benefits.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Health Care Resource Rationing Comply with Federal Nondiscrimination Law – April 16, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Secretary Alex Azar and Director Roger Severino of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services urging the Department’s Office for Civil Rights to issue additional guidance to ensure that schemes to ration scarce health care resources during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic comply with federal nondiscrimination laws. Many states and hospitals plan to rely on Crisis Standard of Care plans to inform providers how to make decisions on the allocation and re-allocation of scarce medical re-sources. Too many of these plans, however, discriminate based on disability and age, devaluing the lives of people with disabilities and older adults. If implemented, they would deny life-saving treatment to people based on disabilities or age that have nothing to do with their ability to benefit from care and survive COVID-19. It is essential that the federal government provide guidance to states and health care providers setting forth clear requirements to ensure that the health care rationing decisions comply with federal nondiscrimination laws.

AAFA Signs Thank You Letter for HSA/FSA Flexibility Provision – April 16, 2020
AAFA, as part of the Health Choices Coalition, sent a letter to Senators thanking them for their work to expand Americans’ access to self-treatment options during a critical moment in the COVID-19 crisis. Their efforts to make Health Savings Accounts (HSA) and Flexible Spending Arrangements (FSA) more accessible are also making social distancing easier and freeing up needed financial resources during a time when many are experiencing economic hardship. The HSA/FSA flexibility provision they championed in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or the CARES Act expands two important health benefits to Americans. First, the repeal of the over-the-counter prescription requirement enables Americans who experience mild illnesses to treat their symptoms at home. Second, the law increases the affordability of basic women’s healthcare by adding menstrual care products to HSA/FSA eligibility.

AAFA Signs Statement Opposing EPA’s Weak Limits on Particle Pollution – April 14, 2020
AAFA and 18 other health and medical organizations released a statement strongly opposing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposal to maintain the current National Ambient Air Quality Standards for Particulate Matter. This proposal keeps weak limits on particle pollution, placing the health of millions at risk. The nation needs stronger limits on particulate matter air pollution to protect public health. The organizations are disappointed with the EPA’s proposal to keep the current, inadequate standards for this lethal pollutant in place, and call on the agency to follow the science and finalize stronger standards into law. Particle pollution is deadly, and that the current limits do not sufficiently protect Americans – especially children with asthma and adults with lung and heart disease.

AAFA Signs Letter to Congress on COVID-19, Climate and Health – April 13, 2020
AAFA and other medical and public health organizations sent a letter urging Congress to design legislation that protects Americans from public health emergencies, as it addresses the health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 demonstrates clearly that we need to heed science and health experts, and that the earlier we take action to prevent and prepare for the worst, the more lives will be saved. Investments now can prevent future health emergencies, including both future pandemics and the worsening health impacts of climate change. Congress should use the massive investments of the coronavirus response legislation wisely to build resilience in the face of climate-related public health threats. These investments can improve community health, reduce health care costs, and reduce the risk of catastrophic health impacts.

AAFA Sends Letter Urging Key Public Health Measures to Slow Spread of COVID-19 – April 10, 2020
AAFA sent a letter to Bill McBride, the Executive Director of the National Governors Association urging all governors to enact and maintain key public health measures to slow the spread of COVID-19. One in thirteen Americans – nearly 25 million people – are living with asthma. Preliminary analysis of U.S. COVID-19 cases with data available on underlying conditions reflects that people with chronic lung disease, including asthma, are among those at higher risk of severe disease. Over 4 million Americans living with asthma are also 65 years old or older, likely rendering them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 complications and death. AAFA urges all governors to follow the public health evidence by enforcing social distancing and encourage mask wearing in accordance with CDC recommendations.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Expansion of COVID-19 Paid Medical Leave – April 9, 2020
AAFA and 157 other organizations sent a letter urging Congress to expand eligibility for the paid family and medical leave program to include individuals determined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to be at high risk for adverse complications from COVID-19 and working members of their households. This policy will allow those at highest risk to remain home for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic and will help ensure their health and safety. Currently, paid family medical leave provides support only to those with children or adults with disabilities whose local school district or usual care providers are closed due to the pandemic. This places individuals who live with significant health conditions such as cystic fibrosis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, organ transplants, sickle cell and others with a devastating choice: place their health or their loved one’s health at risk by going back to work or lose their jobs altogether. Additionally, adults living with family members who are immunocompromised also need access to this support to help protect these vulnerable Americans.

AAFA Sends Comment Letter to FDA Requesting Action on Asthma Drug Shortages Due to COVID-19 – April 7, 2020
AAFA sent a comment letter to Commissioner Stephen Halm, M.D. of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expressing concern about asthma drug shortages in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Demand has increased sharply for a number of drugs used to treat COVID-19, including albuterol, a drug used to treat asthma. However, many adults and children with asthma rely on albuterol inhalers as a quick-relief medication to treat asthma attacks, as do patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). We are concerned that the increased demand for albuterol from hospitals, combined with recommendations that patients seek extended supplies of their prescription medications, is making it harder for people with asthma to access albuterol. Without albuterol, people are more likely to experience asthma attacks they cannot control, potentially increasing hospitalizations.

AAFA Signs Letter Asking Action be Taken to Alleviate Shortage of Ventilators and PPE – April 3, 2020
AAFA and more than 200 other organizations sent a letter to Peter Navarro, Ph.D., Assistant to the President and Policy Coordinator, National Defense Act; Peter T. Gaynor, Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency; and Robert P. Kadlec, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Department of Health and Human Services. The letter asks that the Administration take immediate action to alleviate the critical shortage across the nation of ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE), such as masks, face shields and gowns, resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The current policy is not sufficient to fully address this crisis and additional, urgent action is required to protect the public’s health and save lives. A streamlined and predictable supply chain must emerge that is capable of lasting the duration of the pandemic. Our nation is relying on healthcare providers to carry us through this crisis and they, in turn, are relying on the federal government to equip them to do so.

AAFA Sends Comment Letter on DOT’s Traveling by Air with Service Animals Proposal – April 2, 2020
AAFA sent a comment letter to the Department of Transportation (DOT) on the notice of proposed rulemaking regarding Traveling by Air with Service Animals. AAFA supports the proposal, which balances the needs of people who rely on service animals, including psychiatric service animals, with the health and safety of other passengers and crew but asks the DOT to go further in requiring airlines to accommodate the needs and rights of asthma and allergy travelers. Specifically, people with medical documentation of severe allergies to animals, or of asthma triggered by animal dander, should be able to access seating a specific distance from any animal on a flight. Therefore, AAFA asks that DOT include in the final rule a requirement that airlines provide reasonable accommodations for passengers with documented allergies or asthma necessitating distance from any service animals, pets, or, for airlines that choose to permit them, emotional support animals in an airplane cabin.

AAFA Signs Letter Requesting Continued Strength of the Pharmaceuticals or Medical Device Supply Chain – March 27, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to President Donald J. Trump requesting that any policy action taken surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic through Executive Order or in coordination with Congress does not restrict access to — or destabilize the supply chain for — currently available pharmaceuticals or medical devices. While supply chains for a broad range of U.S. industries are stressed due to the global COVID-19 crisis and a number of factors related to the crisis have already raised concerns about shortages, it is important that there are no measures taken that could undermine the complex arrangements between firms that allow for efficient delivery of medicines to patients. Today, patients in the United States and around the world depend on the use of global supply chains that facilitate ongoing access to needed medicines. Keeping that supply chain strong is even more critical as we fight a global pandemic.

AAFA Sends Comment Letter to CMS Supporting Medicare Part D Proposal – March 27, 2020
AAFA sent a comment letter to Seema Verma, the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), in regard to the notice of proposed rulemaking for ‘Contract Year 2021 and 2022 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage Program, Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Program, Medicaid Program, Medicare Cost Plan Program, and Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly.’ The letter expresses support of CMS’s proposal to allow Medicare Part D plans to create a preferred specialty tier with lower cost sharing, with robust oversight to ensure that this option promotes lower costs and beneficiary access. AAFA urges CMS to develop plans to monitor the uptake and implementation of the second specialty tier option among plans, and to carefully assess the effects on patient costs and access.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Inclusion of Medications Access in Third COVID-19 Package – March 20, 2020
AAFA and 95 other organizations sent a letter to the United States House of Representatives and Senate urging Congress to include provisions regarding access to medications and supplies for people of all ages in the third COVID-19 legislative package. People with chronic conditions need access to essential and lifesaving medications and supplies on a regular basis. The letter urges Congress to take action to assist people with chronic health conditions to protect themselves in this crisis and maintain access to their medications. Removing barriers to obtaining medications, including limits on refills or other efforts to ensure supply of these medications, will keep the people these organizations represent out of hospitals and doctors’ offices, freeing up space for those with COVID-19.

AAFA Signs Letter Requesting Extension of SNPR Comment Period – March 20, 2020
AAFA and other health and medical organizations sent a letter to Andrew Wheeler, the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requesting at minimum a 60-day extension of the deadline to comment on the Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPR). The SNPR appeared in the Federal Register on March 18, 2020 with a comment deadline of April 17, 2020 and is a significant expansion and revision to the original notice of proposed rulemaking that requires careful analysis and review. The SNPR notice includes two new alternative pathways for the rulemaking, an expansion of the scientific information covered, and an expansion of the EPA processes included. These changes require careful analysis and review, and a 30-day comment period is not sufficient.

AAFA Signs Letter Requesting Inclusion of Nonprofits in COVID-19 Aid Packages – March 20, 2020
AAFA and 212 other organizations sent a letter to the United States House and Senate urging the inclusion of nonprofit patient advocacy community-based organizations within any federal aid packages or supplemental appropriations measures supporting the airline, travel, and other targeted industries impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic. Many nonprofit organizations have been and will be significantly harmed by reduced charitable giving, travel restrictions, fund-raising event cancellations, and reduced meeting attendance as a result of COVID-19.

AAFA Sends Letter on Airline Passenger Experience – March 13, 2020
AAFA sent a letter to the Chair, Rick Larsen, and Ranking Member, Garrett Graves, of the Subcommittee on Aviation of the U.S. House of Representatives surrounding the hearing that was held on March 3rd on the Airline Passenger Experience. AAFA is encouraging the Commitee to ensure that the continued work in this area takes into account the experiences of passengers with asthma or allergies, both disabilities requiring accommodation. Travel by plane can be particularly risky for these passengers, particularly if they experience an asthma attack or allergic reaction mid-flight. AAFA has supported many common-sense policy goals to help protect the safety and lives of children and adults with allergies and asthma as air travelers. AAFA urges the Committee to affirmatively include people with these potentially fatal conditions, asthma or allergies, in their work on the passenger experience, so that we can reduce the risk of preventable serious injury and death.

AAFA Sends Letter Supporting Anaphylaxis Related Bill S.7085 – March 10, 2020
AAFA sent a letter to New York State Senator Jessica Ramos supporting bill S.7085, an act to amend the public health law, in relation to requiring cafeteria staff to be trained in preventing and responding to anaphylaxis. Food allergies are affecting a growing number of American children and adults. Exposure to the allergen can cause severe reactions, including anaphylaxis and, in rare cases, death. Epinephrine is the only treatment for anaphylaxis and is only available with a prescription. The protection S.7085 provides requiring cafeteria staff to be trained to treat someone suffering anaphylaxis, even for their very first allergic reaction, is life-saving.

AAFA Sends Letter to FAA Urging Airplane Regulations that Require Epinephrine Auto-Injectors Onboard – March 9, 2020
AAFA sent a letter to the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Steve Dickson, urging him to issue regulations requiring airplanes to include epinephrine auto-injectors in adult and pediatric dosages in all onboard emergency medical kits. Airplanes are a fraught environment for people with allergies, particularly food allergies. Food residue can be present on all surfaces, and people are seated in close quarters with others who are eating. Epinephrine autoinjectors should be available in the first aid kit within the plane’s cabin so that they can be quickly accessed and used.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging a Package of Strong Clean Energy Tax Incentives – March 9, 2020
AAFA and other health and medical organizations sent a letter to the House Committee on Ways and Means and Senate Committee on Finance urging them to enact a package of strong clean energy tax incentives in 2020. Investments in clean energy are critical to combatting the harmful health effects of air pollution and climate change. We must deploy every tool we have to accelerate the just transition to a clean energy economy in order to address climate change and protect the health of our communities across the country, especially those communities that are disproportionately vulnerable to air pollution and climate change impacts.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Funding Increase for CDC’s OHS in FY 2021 – March 9, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the House and Senate urging them to increase funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) by $80 million, for a total of $310 million in the FY 2021 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. This increase is needed to respond to soaring e-cigarette usage rates among youth and the devastating toll that tobacco continues to take on our nation’s health. Additional resources will allow OSH to address the new threat to public health posed by skyrocketing rates of youth e-cigarette use while continuing to prevent and reduce other forms of tobacco use.

AAFA Signs Letter Encouraging Asthma Trigger Remediation as a Separate ILOS – March 6, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Senior Advisor Jacey Cooper of the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS). The letter encourages DCHS to reconsider including Environmental Asthma Trigger Remediation as an In Lieu of Services (ILOS) separate from other ILOS as part of the Medi-Cal Healthier California for All (MHCA) proposal. Including Asthma Trigger Remediation as an ILOS will provide a much-needed service for Medi-Cal beneficiaries with poorly controlled asthma. Additionally, the Asthma Trigger Remediation ILOS will be most impactful if there is the appropriate workforce and relationships available to deliver the home visiting requirement. DHCS should articulate plans to submit a complementary State Plan Amendment (SPA) invoking the Preventive Services Rule to make asthma preventive services by a non-licensed provider a reimbursable benefit.

AAFA Signs Letter for Funding of National Asthma Control Program for FY 2021– March 4, 2020
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to the Senate asking to support a $4 million increase in funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Asthma Control Program, bringing funding to $34.0 million for FY 2021. This request would allow the program to fund additional states that have already been approved to combat the terrible human and economic burden caused by asthma. Asthma remains a serious and costly health issue in our nation. This program is making a difference in improving disease outcomes. Public health programs that reduce the burden of asthma must include surveillance, environmental measures to reduce exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollutants, awareness and self-management education and appropriate healthcare services.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Increase to FDA Food Allergen Labeling Work – March 4, 2020
AAFA and other allergy and consumer organizations sent a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives asking Congress to provide a $3 million increase to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) food allergen labeling work. Food allergy in the United States is now a public health crisis impacting more than 32 million Americans, many who suffer from serious and potentially life-threatening food allergies. Allergen declarations on foods are a key protection that allows Americans with food allergy to avoid serious and even life-threatening reactions. The FDA helps ensure allergens are clearly declared through research, testing, guidance, inspections, and enforcement. Protecting consumers with food allergy is a critical part of FDA’s important work ensuring that our foods are safe and properly labeled.

AAFA Sends Letter Expressing Support for S.B. 477 – February 28, 2020
AAFA sent a letter to the Chair and Vice Chair of the Maryland State Senate Finance Committee, expressing strong support for S.B. 477, an act concerning Public Health – Emergency Use Auto–Injectable Epinephrine Program –Revisions. Epinephrine is the only treatment for anaphylaxis and is only available with a prescription. Children and adults who have severe food allergies need epinephrine with them at all times to promptly treat anaphylaxis. In situations where a person does not have access to epinephrine (they may not have their prescribed auto-injector with them, or they could be experiencing their first-ever reaction to a certain allergen), the reaction can become life-threatening. The protection S.B. 477 provides by allowing trained personnel of authorized food service facilities to treat someone suffering anaphylaxis, even for their very first allergic reaction, is life-saving.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Funding for CDC’s NCEH in FY 2021 – February 28, 2020
AAFA and other public health, environmental health and other supporting organizations sent a letter to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees urging them to provide at least $243 million to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) in the FY 2021 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. Increasing our investments in environmental health prevention activities today will help reduce illness, disease, injury and even death. Adequate investments today and into the future in core environmental health activities can be a critical down payment on health, productivity and happiness of countless Americans.

AAFA Signs Letters Urging Funding for NIEHS in FY 2021 – February 26, 2020
AAFA, as a member of the Friends of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) sent letters to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, urging them to provide $860.3 million for the NIEHS in the FY 2021 Labor-HHS-Education and Related Agencies appropriation bill. NIEHS research encompasses all types of exposures that can impact human health, including air pollution, endocrine disruptors, nanomaterials, and other contaminants. The results of NIEHS research provide policymakers with essential, unbiased science to support informed decision-making affecting our health. Children are uniquely vulnerable to harmful substances in their environment, and the NIEHS plays a critical role in uncovering the connections between environmental exposures and children’s health. The NIEHS is poised to generate many new exciting discoveries about the impact of environmental factors on human health.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Funding for the Superfund Research Program in FY 2021 – February 26, 2020
AAFA, as a member of the Friends of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) sent letters to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, urging them to provide $84 million for the Superfund Research program in FY 2021. The NIEHS’s Superfund Program (SRP) supports research to address the health impacts from hazardous substances in the environment, develop clean-up technologies for hazardous waste, advance new risk assessment methods, and train the future generation of scientists to work in interdisciplinary research teams to tackle such problems. The SRP provides the scientific research used by the Worker Training Program (WTP) to train hazardous waste workers, to accelerate remediation efforts, and to prevent health consequences related to toxicant exposure. If the opportunity to meet the current investment needs of the SRP and WTP is passed by, we risk reversing a variety of public health, environmental, and economic gains of the past 25 years.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Funding for CDC Programs in FY 2021 – February 26, 2020
AAFA, members of the CDC Coalition, and other supporting state and national organizations sent a letter to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees urging them to provide at least $8.3 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) programs in the FY 2021 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. The organizations believe that Congress should prioritize funding for all of the activities and programs supported by CDC which are essential to protect the health of the American people. In addition to ensuring a strong public health infrastructure and protecting Americans from public health threats and emergencies, CDC programs are crucial to reducing health care costs and improving health.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter to the EPA Regarding a Cleaner Truck Initiative – February 20, 2020
AAFA and other health and medical organizations sent a comment letter to Administrator Andrew Wheeler of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in response to the advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) for the Control of Air Pollution from New Motor Vehicles: Heavy-Duty Engine Standards. A carefully designed and health-protective Cleaner Truck Initiative (CTI) to control harmful emissions from the heavy-duty vehicle sector is critical to protecting human health from nearby sources of truck traffic, as well as ensure attainment of health-protective clean air standards. Americans are suffering due to poor air quality driven in large part by the heavy-duty trucking sector. A strong, durable rule that ensures all regions are supported in achieving clean air standards is vitally important and these organizations look forward to engaging in the upcoming rulemaking process to ensure public health protection maintains a central role.

AAFA Signs Letter Supporting the Clean Economy Act – February 11, 2020
AAFA and other health and medical organizations sent a letter to Senator Carper supporting the Clean Economy Act. Under this bill, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal agencies would use their existing authority to achieve the goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Climate change is a health emergency. Children, seniors, pregnant women, low-income communities, some communities of color, people with disabilities and people with chronic disease bear a disproportionate burden of the health impacts of climate change. The organizations strongly support the Clean Economy Act’s goal and its requirement that EPA “achieve rapid greenhouse gas emissions reductions, based on the best available science, to protect public health and welfare from the effects of climate change,” and the requirement that the plan “reduce and minimize pollution and cumulative environmental effects” in disproportionately impacted communities.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Support for the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2019 – February 4, 2020
AAFA and 75 other organizations sent a letter to the House of Representatives urging support for H.R. 2339, the Reversing the Youth Tobacco Epidemic Act of 2019. Use of e-cigarettes by youth has escalated rapidly in recent years, placing a new generation at risk of nicotine addiction and tobacco use. Its prohibition on flavored tobacco products, including flavored e-cigarettes, flavored cigars, and menthol cigarettes, is needed to stop tobacco companies from targeting and addicting kids with enticing flavors. Flavors are a key reason for widespread youth use of e-cigarettes. In addition to its prohibition on flavored tobacco products, this Act includes a number of other provisions that will help to reduce youth use of e-cigarettes and use of other tobacco products.

AAFA Sends Letter Supporting S.B. 530 – January 30, 2020
AAFA sent a letter to Virginia State Senator George Barker expressing strong support for S.B. 530, a bill to amend and reenact §§ 8.01-225 and 54.1-3408 of the Code of Virginia, relating to the possession and administration of epinephrine by certain individuals. Epinephrine is the only treatment for anaphylaxis and is only available with a prescription. Children and adults who have severe food allergies need epinephrine with them at all times to promptly treat anaphylaxis. In situations where a person does not have access to epinephrine (they may not have their prescribed auto-injector with them, or they could be experiencing their first-ever reaction to a certain allergen), the reaction can become life-threatening. The protection S.B.530 provides by allowing trained restaurant staff to treat someone suffering anaphylaxis will save lives.

AAFA Sends Letter Supporting Santa Clara County’s Subsidized Medication Pilot Program – January 27, 2020
AAFA sent a letter to the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors supporting Santa Clara County’s Subsidized Medication Pilot Program. This innovative program will make epinephrine auto-injectors, asthma inhalers, and insulin more affordable for residents of Santa Clara County. AAFA believes that cost should not be a barrier to these crucial medications and devices. Making drugs accessible and affordable for our patient communities through a range of policy efforts at the state and federal levels has long been a major policy priority for AAFA. Residents of Santa Clara County, like many families around the country, continue to face challenges in accessing asthma inhalers and epinephrine autoinjectors. AAFA believes that we need systemic changes – including broad solutions to soaring drug prices; prompt availability of generics; and comprehensive, affordable, insurance – to improve access to drugs for our community and for all Americans.

AAFA Sends Letters Expressing Support for S.B. 642 – January 17, 2020
AAFA sent letters to New Hampshire State Senators Lou D’Allesandro, Tom Sherman and Martha Fuller Clark expressing strong support for S.B. 642, an act relative to the administration of epinephrine. Epinephrine is the only treatment for anaphylaxis and is only available with a prescription. Children and adults who have severe food allergies need epinephrine with them at all times to promptly treat anaphylaxis. In situations where a person does not have access to epinephrine (they may not have their prescribed auto-injector with them, or they could be experiencing their first-ever reaction to a certain allergen), the reaction can become life-threatening. The protection S.B.642 provides by allowing trained staff or agents of authorized entities to treat someone suffering anaphylaxis, even for their very first allergic reaction, is life-saving.

AAFA Sends Comment Letter Regarding the Proposed Updates to the Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Asthma, EPR-4 – January 17, 2020
AAFA sent a letter to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in response to their request for information on “Update on Selected Topics in Asthma Management: A Report from the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program Coordinating Committee (NAEPPCC) Expert Panel Working Group.” This report, also known as Expert Panel Report-4 (EPR-4) is a much needed update of the current guidelines from 2007. The workgroup used findings from five systematic reviews to update the guidelines in the following topic areas: Role of Immunotherapy in the Treatment of Asthma, Intermittent Inhaled Corticosteroids and Long-Acting Muscarinic Antagonist for Asthma, Effectiveness of Indoor Allergen Reduction in Management of Asthma, Effectiveness and Safety of Bronchial Thermoplasty in Management of Asthma, and The Clinical Utility of Fractional Exhaled Nitric Oxide (FeNO) in Asthma Management. You can find the full EPR-4 report here.

AAFA Sends Letter Supporting Food Allergy Awareness Act HB 1102 – January 16, 2020
AAFA sent a letter to the New Hampshire House of Representatives Commerce and Consumer Affairs Committee supporting HB 1102. HB 1102 is an Act requiring food service establishments to establish food allergy awareness procedures. Adverse reactions to foods at restaurants are common, and account for a large share of food allergy fatalities. Going to restaurants can therefore cause significant stress for families managing food allergies. Many restaurants and restaurant workers are not aware of, or are not using, practices to improve food allergy safety. Making restaurants safer could help prevent allergic reactions and deaths and let people with food allergies engage more fully in social activities with their family and friends with less fear and stress. AAFA therefore strongly supports the bill to improve allergy awareness and safe practices in New Hampshire restaurants.

AAFA Testifies Before House Committee About H.R. 2468 – January 8, 2020
AAFA’s CEO and President, Kenneth Mendez participated in the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearing on Legislation to Improve Americans’ Health Care Coverage and Outcomes. Mendez provided his and AAFA’s support of H.R. 2468, the School-Based Allergies and Asthma Management Program Act. The bill is a bipartisan effort to promote health and safety for millions of children living with asthma and food allergies. The implementation of H.R. 2468 would promote and create a preference within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) existing asthma grant program for states that require schools to take a series of actions to address asthma and food allergies.

2019

AAFA Sends Comment Letter Regarding AHRQ’s Review of Existing Asthma Self-Management Education Packages – December 24, 2019
AAFA sent a letter to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) regarding their draft technical brief, “Characteristics of Existing Asthma Self-Management Education Packages.” The purpose of the brief was to identify components that compromise asthma self-management education (AS-ME) packages used in the U.S., and examine, compare, and organize their key characteristics and available research to enable a better understanding of current practice and future needs. AAFA asthma programs ASTHMA Care for Adults, Wee Breathers, Asthma Basics for Children and You Can Control Asthma were included in the review and acknowledged for the wide range of audiences these programs reach, from children and their parents and caregivers to adults living with asthma. AAFA recommends that all asthma self-management education includes quality of life questionnaires, review of medications and inhalation technique, checklists to identify indoor and outdoor allergens and triggers and reduction strategies, the importance of using an asthma action plan, and follow-up post education to determine if lifestyle or behavior changes have been made to improve asthma.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter Regarding the TennCare II Demonstration Amendment 42: Block Grant – December 20, 2019
AAFA and other organizations submitted a comment letter to Administrator Seema Verma of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on the TennCare II Demonstration Amendment 42: Block Grant. The groups oppose Tennessee’s proposal to change the financing structure for its Medicaid program to a block grant. The purpose of the Medicaid program is to provide health care coverage for low-income individuals and families. The waiver proposal will jeopardize beneficiaries’ access to care and would include vulnerable eligibility groups such as children and people with disabilities in the block grant. The core objective of the Medicaid program is to furnish health care to low-income and needy populations. This waiver does not further that goal and the organizations oppose the proposal.

AAFA Sends Letter to FDA Requesting Sesame Labeling Discussion – December 18, 2019
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Anna Abram, the Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Legislation, and International Affairs of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requesting a meeting to discuss the status of the agency’s efforts in sesame labeling. The FDA has initiated action regarding sesame allergy, requesting information to inform potential labeling requirements. Uniform and easily understandable labels will help Americans with sesame allergies and their families safely navigate their food choices and avoid preventable reactions.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on FDA’s Proposed Rule on PMTAs – December 16, 2019
AAFA and other organizations submitted a comment letter on Docket No. 2019-N-2854, the proposed rule for Premarket Tobacco Product Applications and Recordkeeping Requirements. The proposed rule is designed to inform tobacco product manufacturers and the public about requirements for submission of Premarket Tobacco Product Applications (“PMTAs”), related recordkeeping requirements, requirements for post-market information gathering and reporting, and the process FDA will use in the evaluation of PMTAs. The comment letter addresses these areas with principal emphasis on the requirements for submission of PMTAs.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Final Negotiations on FY 2020 Defense Appropriations Act – December 9, 2019
AAFA and 102 other organization sent a letter urging members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate to complete final negotiations on the fiscal year (FY) 2020 Defense Appropriations Act and move the bill through the House and Senate toward enactment. The organizations are concerned about the possibility of Congress enacting a long-term continuing resolution in lieu of a fiscal year 2020 Defense Appropriations Act. Per the Department of the Defense, under this scenario, the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs would receive no funding in fiscal year 2020. Failure to enact a final bill will have major negative health implications for the millions of Americans – especially veterans – suffering from chronic and debilitating disorders.

AAFA Sends Letter Supporting Dockets Relating to Epinephrine and Anaphylactic Policies – December 3, 2019
AAFA sent a letter to the Council of State Governments’ Suggested Legislation Committee leadership: Co-Chair Representative Kim Koppelman of the North Dakota House of Representatives, Co-Chair Representative Kevin Ryan of the Connecticut General Assembly; and Vice Chair Jerry L. Bassett of the Alabama Legislative Services Agency. The letter expresses AAFA’s strong support for Docket #07-41A-12, 2019 Illinois HB 3435; Docket #07-41A-13, 2019 New York SB 218; and Docket #07-41A-29, 2015 New Jersey A 304. These laws concern the regulation and coverage of epinephrine autoinjectors for children 18 and younger, anaphylactic policies for childcare services, and emergency administration of epinephrine to students for anaphylaxis, respectively. These pieces of legislation are evidence-based and will reduce reactions and risk for children and provide peace of mind to families managing food allergies if replicated in other states.

AAFA Signs Letter Supporting the 100% Clean Economy Act – November 21, 2019
AAFA and other health and medication organizations sent a letter to Representatives expressing support of the 100% Clean Economy Act and its goal of reaching net-zero climate pollution by 2050. Meeting this goal is essential to protecting public health. The groups support the Act’s requirement that federal agencies take actions that improve public health, especially among communities disproportionately impacted by air pollution and climate change. The nation must dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions while cleaning up other harmful emissions from polluting sources at the same time.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Congress to Address Delayed Patient Access in Medicare Part D – November 18, 2019
AAFA and 22 other organizations sent a letter urging Congress to prioritize policies that support access to lower-cost generic drugs and biosimilars. The letter requests that any comprehensive drug pricing legislation addresses the pressing issue of delayed patient access to generic medicines in Medicare Part D. Failure to solve this problem will only increase beneficiary and health system costs, and harm patients who desperately need greater access to affordable medicines. Ensuring timely and proper access to affordable medicines is an important step in lowering patient costs at the pharmacy counter and reducing overall Medicare spending.

AAFA Releases Statement on Inhalers and Greenhouse Gases – November 14, 2019
AAFA released a statement regarding a recent study that found the delivery system used for some asthma medicines (gases used in metered dose inhalers) may have a negative impact on global warming. AAFA believes patients, healthcare providers, and policy makers must keep these findings in perspective. AAFA urges those with asthma to continue taking their asthma medicines as advised by their health care provider as asthma can be fatal without proper treatment. Different asthma medicines work well for different people and switching to a new medicine may be inappropriate. AAFA supports clean air policies and encourages people to take steps to reduce our individual contributions to climate change. However, we recommend focus remain on other large-scale improvements we can make to reduce carbon footprints, methane and ozone emissions.

AAFA Signs Letter Expressing Concern Over EPA Proposed Rule – November 13, 2019
AAFA and 61 other groups sent a letter to the House of Representatives expressing concern over the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science” proposed rule. The group supports the goal of improving the transparency of science and access to data. However, there are many credible scientific studies where the exposure of raw data to the public is infeasible or would reveal confidential patient or research participant information. If EPA excludes studies because the data cannot be made public, people may be exposed to real harm. The result would be decisions affecting millions based on inadequate information that fails to include well-supported studies by expert scientists.

AAFA Signs Letter Thanking the House for H.R. 1922 Legislation – October 22, 2019
AAFA, as part of the Health Choices Coalition, sent a letter to the House of Representatives applauding efforts to restore over-the-counter (“OTC”) medications to full tax-preferred status, eliminating the need to first obtain a prescription. The House’s legislation, H.R. 1922, will create efficiencies and improve access to care within the U.S. healthcare system. Americans’ concerns about rising healthcare costs are growing. H.R. 1922 is a common-sense policy that will help American families better manage their healthcare needs. The Coalition also thanks the House for broadening support for this legislation by crafting a bipartisan bill that extends HSA/FSA eligibility to feminine hygiene products.

AAFA Signs Letter Thanking HHS for Leadership in Addressing E-Cigarette and Vaping Crisis – October 18, 2019
AAFA, as part of the Childhood Asthma Leadership Coalition (CALC), sent a letter to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) thanking the Secretary for his leadership in addressing the public health crisis created by e-cigarettes and vaping. We believe that HHS’s announcement that the Administration will remove all non-tobacco flavored e-cigarettes from the market is a step in the right direction towards ending the vaping epidemic and protecting children from exposure to these deadly toxins. CALC urges the Administration to move forward with urgency. Combating this epidemic immediately is essential to avoiding serious long-term and multi-generational health consequences.

AAFA Signs Letter with Feedback on ICER’s Proposed Updates to 2020 Value Assessment Framework – October 18, 2019
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to Steven D. Pearson, MD, MSc, the president of the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), regarding ICER’s proposed updates to its 2020 Value Assessment Framework. The letter urges ICER to put patients and people with disabilities at the center their assessments. ICER’s use of discriminatory methods in its value assessments gives insurers tools to restrict patient access, a tactic that puts the most vulnerable at an increased risk of worse health outcomes, increased out-of-pocket costs associated with their care, and potential adverse events. ICER’s value assessments do not promote affordability for patients, but instead give payers justification to create barriers to treatment coverage that benefit their own bottom line.

AAFA Signs Letter for Funding of National Asthma Control Program for FY 2020 – October 17, 2019
AAFA and other organizations sent a letter to House and Senate Subcommittees requesting that their versions of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bill for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 include the House’s position of $34 million for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Asthma Control Program (NACP). CDC recently announced that almost ten states, cities and other entities were approved for funding from the NACP but not funded for the next five-year cycle. The House’s appropriated amount of $34 million would ensure these states receive funding for the next cycle, to help combat the terrible human and economic burden caused by asthma.

AAFA Sends Comment Letter to ICER on 2020 Value Assessment Framework Proposed Updates – October 15, 2019
AAFA sent a comment letter to Steven D. Pearson, MD, MSc, the president of the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), regarding ICER’s proposed updates to its 2020 Value Assessment Framework. ICER has an opportunity to expand its inclusion of the patient perspective and to lower both economic and quality of life costs for patients and their families. To do so, ICER should incorporate the patient perspective as part of their base-case economic analyses; use appropriate real-world data sets for their analyses to reflect the actual patient community; meaningfully present alternative assumptions and sensitivity analyses; and work to incorporate and grow the data on caregiver impact and quality of life

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Clean Energy Deployment Incentives Through the Tax Code – October 2, 2019
AAFA and other health and medical organizations sent a letter to the House Committee on Ways and Means and the Senate Committee on Finance urging the committees to incentivize clean energy deployment through the tax code. Investments in clean energy are critical to combatting the harmful health effects of air pollution and climate change. Clean energy is better for our health and better for the climate. These incentives will lower pollution that threatens our health and exacerbates climate change, while improving health sector climate resilience.

AAFA Sends Support Letter for S.1276/H.1850 – September 18, 2019
AAFA sent a letter of support of S.1276/H.1850 to members of the Joint Committee on Public Health. S.1276/H.1850 is an act ensuring safe patient access to emergency care. Access to adequate emergency care is especially critical in Massachusetts where the asthma prevalence exceeds the national average. Most asthma-related deaths are preventable with proper management, housing improvements, better air quality, and, importantly, safe patient access to emergency care. AAFA therefore encourages the passage of S.1276/H.1850 to protect the lives of all Massachusetts residents living with asthma.

AAFA Signs Letter Supporting 100% Clean Energy Economy by 2050 – September 17, 2019
AAFA and eight other health and medical organizations sent a letter to representatives supporting the goal of a 100% clean energy economy by 2050 to improve public health, particularly in communities that are disproportionately vulnerable to air pollution and climate change impacts; and to prepare communities for climate impacts and risks. To fully protect public health, the nation must dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions while cleaning up other harmful emissions from polluting sources at the same time. The organizations urge the Representatives to continue prioritizing public health legislation is developed.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Penicillin Skin Testing Product Review – August 15, 2019
AAFA and other public health and medical organizations emphasize to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that penicillin skin testing is essential for eliminating the increased morbidity and costs associated with a false label of penicillin allergy. A hindrance to penicillin testing is the lack of a commercial product containing the necessary reagents. The letter strongly urges the FDA to rapidly move forward with the review and potential approval process of a commercial product containing the essential penicillin antigens. This will enable the safest and most accurate identification of patients with true penicillin allergy.

AAFA Releases Statement on ICER Review of New Peanut Allergy Treatments – July 11, 2019
AAFA’s statement addresses concerns regarding the Final Evidence Report assessing the clinical effectiveness and value of treatments for peanut allergy released by the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) on July 10, 2019. ICER’s report may cause concern for the allergy community that the findings will restrict access to new treatments for peanut allergy. ICER’s evaluation does not impact an approval nor denial from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). AAFA agrees with ICER that we need more long-term data to focus on outcomes important to patients. AAFA advocates for considering quality of life for caregivers when evaluating childhood food allergy burden and outcomes.

AAFA Sends Comment Letter About Alcohol Labeling – June 26, 2019
AAFA sent a comment letter to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) on the proposed rule, “Modernization of the Labeling and Advertising Regulations for Wine, Distilled Spirits, and Malt Beverages.” AAFA supports transparent labeling about alcohol ingredients and urges the TTB to move toward mandatory allergen labeling on alcoholic beverages. Wines, distilled spirits and beers can contain undisclosed allergens, either used as processing agents or as ingredients. Research shows consumption of sediment particles containing these fining agents can cause allergic reactions.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Joining of the Allergy and Asthma Caucus – June 24, 2019
AAFA, as part of the Childhood Asthma Leadership Coalition (CALC), signs letter urging Representatives to join the bipartisan Congressional Allergy and Asthma Caucus. The Caucus is a group of House Members dedicated to increasing awareness of the health and economic concerns associated with asthma and severe allergies, as well as advancing research to improve the lives of adults and children living with these conditions. CALC hopes that Representatives will consider promoting policies to address the needs of children with asthma.

AAFA Letter on ICER’s Review of Treatments for Peanut Allergy – June 14, 2019
The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) and its California Technology Assessment Forum (CTAF) met on June 11, 2019 to assess the clinical effectiveness and value of treatments for peanut allergy. The review examined two new technologies to induce immune tolerance — Viaskin® Peanut (DBV Technologies) and AR101 (Aimmune Therapeutics) — as well as non-commercialized oral immunotherapy (OIT). ICER invited AAFA to share recent research results that describe the burden of food allergies on patients and caregivers. AAFA wants to reassure people living with peanut allergy that FDA approval is still possible for these new treatments. AAFA looks forward to continued exploration of innovative ways to treat food allergies.

AAFA Signs Letter Expressing Concerns About H.R. 2009 – June 13, 2019
AAFA signs letter with other patient and consumer organizations expressing concern about H.R. 2009, the Removing Barriers to Allergy Diagnostic Testing Act of 2019. The letter states concern that if H.R. 2009 is enacted, it will lead to the indiscriminate use of allergy blood testing as a screening test and rather than its appropriate use as a confirmatory test. This will result in the misdiagnosis and mislabeling of people with food and/or inhalant allergies, which would be harmful to patients, result in unnecessary care and lifestyle restrictions and increase healthcare spending on unnecessary treatments. It is paramount that all allergy test results whether skin or blood must be confirmatory and interpreted in the context of the patient’s medical history.

AAFA Applauds DOT Warning About Denial of Preboarding to Family With Food Allergies – June 7, 2019
AAFA applauds the warning the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) issued to American Airlines in response to American Airline’s denial of the right to pre-board a family of a child with food allergies. However, AAFA calls on the USDOT and Congress to take even stronger actions to protect the rights of airline passengers with allergies and all disabilities.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Support For NIEHS/EPA Children’s Centers Funding – May 24, 2019
AAFA and other organizations sent letters to the Senate and House asking to signal strong support for joint funding for the NIEHS/EPA Children’s Environmental Health and Disease Prevention Research Centers (“Children’s Centers” or “Centers”). The grants that currently fund these 13 centers are due to expire in July and no announcement has been made to indicate renewed funding. The letter asks for support for the research necessary to understand how today’s environments impact children’s health and ability to learn.

AAFA Sends Letters Supporting Elijah’s Law – May 14, 2019
AAFA sent letters supporting Elijah’s Law to Senator Brian Benjamin (S218-A) and Assemblymember Al Taylor (A6971-A). New York State’s requirements for schools to have anaphylactic policies only apply to K-12 settings. Elijah’s law would apply important allergy requirements to all child day care providers. Providers would have to take concrete steps to manage food allergies for the children in their care, including developing emergency protocols, communication plans for discussing food allergies with children, and plans for preventing exposure. These requirements are evidence-based and will reduce reactions and risk for young children across the state.

AAFA Signs Letters Supporting Reauthorization of PCORI – May 13, 2019
AAFA and other organizations sent letters to the Senate and House expressing strong support for the reauthorization of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). In creating PCORI, Congress committed to build the evidence base for improved health decisions, seeking to empower patients and drive innovation and value in health care. Reauthorization is an opportunity for Congress to ensure that PCORI continues to uphold this commitment and serve the needs of an evolving health care system.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Support of the Climate Action Now Act – April 29, 2019
AAFA and other public health and medical organizations urge Representatives to support H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act. The bill would help ensure that the United States adheres to the science-based targets in the Paris Agreement and develops a plan to meet them, both essential steps to protecting public health from the impacts of climate change. The nation urgently needs to implement strong, science-based measures to reduce the emissions that cause climate change. The U.S. must also invest in health mitigation strategies to help communities address the varied health impacts they are already facing.

AAFA Signs 2019 Declaration on Climate Change and Health – April 29, 2019
AAFA and other public health, patient advocacy, nursing and medical organizations declare climate change a health emergency and call for immediate action to protect the public’s health from the current and future impacts of climate change in the 2019 Declaration on Climate Change and Health. These organizations call on President Trump, EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, and members of Congress to heed the clear scientific evidence and take steps now to reduce pollution that drives climate change and harms health.

AFA Signs House Letter Applauding H.R. 1922 for OTC Medications – April 23, 2019
AAFA, as part of the Health Choices Coalition, signs letter sent to the House of Representatives applauding efforts via H.R. 1922 to restore over-the-counter (“OTC”) medications to full tax-preferred status, eliminating the need to first obtain a prescription. H.R. 1922 will create efficiencies and improve access to care within the U.S. healthcare system. The Coalition thanks the House for the efforts to restore consumers’ ability to pay for OTC medicines with tax preferred account funds without the need for a prescription and for broadening support for this legislation by crafting a bipartisan bill that extends HSA/FSA eligibility to feminine hygiene products.

AAFA Signs Senate Letter Applauding S. 1089 for OTC Medications – April 23, 2019
AAFA, as part of the Health Choices Coalition, signs letter sent to the Senate applauding efforts via S. 1089 to restore over-the-counter (“OTC”) medications to full tax-preferred status, eliminating the need to first obtain a prescription. S. 1089 will create efficiencies and improve access to care within the U.S. healthcare system. The Coalition thanks the House for the efforts to restore consumers’ ability to pay for OTC medicines with tax preferred account funds without the need for a prescription.

AAFA Sends Letter Urging Connecticut Atopic Dermatitis Legislation – April 5, 2019
AAFA sends letter on behalf of those suffering from atopic dermatitis (AD), also known as eczema, urging the Connecticut state legislature to pass legislation ensuring that any step therapy requirements enacted in Medicaid protect patients from medically harmful policies. Step therapy, without proper consumer and patient protections, have the potential to delay and restrict access to medically necessary and effective drugs and treatments. AAFA requests the implementation of policies to ensure that any measure incorporating step therapy for AD into Medicaid include patient protections.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Prioritization of Food Allergy Research in FY2020 Appropriations – April 4, 2019
AAFA and 6 other organizations send letter to the Senate urging prioritization of food allergy research across the federal government in fiscal year 2020 (FY20) appropriations. The letter includes requests surrounding the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education, and Related Agencies (LHHS) and Defense. Continued investment in food allergy research through the Consortium on Food Allergy Research (CoFAR) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has the potential to make serious strides towards understanding the causes of, and developing treatments for, this widespread and under-researched condition.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Funding for CDC Climate and Health Program – March 22, 2019
AAFA and other public and environmental health organizations urge an increase in funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Climate and Health Program to $15 million. Americans today experience negative health impacts due to climate change. Communities and states must have the resources necessary to understand specific current and anticipated health impacts of climate change and take steps to protect the public’s health. Further investment in the Climate and Health Program will help communities across the country better prepare and protect their residents.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging EPA to Retain Current Carbon Pollution Limits – March 18, 2019
AAFA and 10 other organizations urge the U.S. Environmental Production Agency (EPA) to retain the current limits, adopted in 2015, on carbon pollution for New, Modified and Reconstructed Stationary Sources. The nation experiences the damage from climate change today, and forecasts predict more devastation to come. EPA should be taking aggressive steps to address those challenges and greatly reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases and other harmful pollutants. A new EPA proposed rule would roll back and weaken existing policy, with no benefits to public health and with the potential to add millions of tons of the longest-lasting greenhouse gas to the problem.

AAFA Signs Letter Supporting Senate Bill 207 and Appropriation Request – March 11, 2019
AAFA and 26 other organizations support Senate Bill 207 and its associated $14.8 million budget appropriation request, which would include asthma preventive services as a covered benefit under the Medi-Cal program. SB 207 and the budget appropriation request will increase access for Medi-Cal beneficiaries to asthma education and home environmental asthma trigger assessments. Asthma is a significant public health problem and driver of health care costs. Increasing access to asthma education and home environmental asthma trigger assessments will help fulfill California’s Quadruple Aim of strengthening the quality of care, improving health outcomes, reducing health care costs and advancing health equity.

AAFA Signs Letter Requesting Funding for CDC’s NACP for FY 2020 – March 11, 2019
AAFA and 14 other organizations urge support from Senators/Representatives for an increase in funding for Fiscal Year 2020 for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Asthma Control Program (NACP). Specifically, support for a $5 million increase, bringing funding to $34.0 million for FY 2020, which would increase the number of states the program can fund to combat the human and economic burden caused by asthma. Asthma is a complex, multifactorial disease that requires a comprehensive approach and the NACP is making a difference in improving disease outcomes.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Funding for CDC’s Program in FY 2020 – March 4, 2019
AAFA signs letter urging Congress to provide at least $7.8 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) programs in the FY 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. Congress should prioritize funding for all activities and programs supported by CDC which are essential to protect the health of the American people. The letter urges Congress’ continued support of the Prevention and Public Health Fund which currently makes up more than 10 percent of CDC’s budget and provides funding for critical public health and prevention activities.

AAFA Signs Letter Supporting Reintroduction of Climate Legislation – March 4, 2019
AAFA and other public health and medical organization thank Senator Edward J. Markey and Representative Matt Cartwright for their ongoing leadership to address the health impacts of climate change through your reintroduction of the Climate Change Health Protection and Promotion Act. Their legislation would help the public health and medical communities address the challenges of climate change and by prioritizing the public health response to climate change, it would bolster the capacity of our public health system and help to avoid many preventable illnesses and deaths.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Funding for CDC NCEH in FY 2020 – February 26, 2019
AAFA and other public and environmental health organizations express support for increased funding for the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) in the FY 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. The organizations urge Congress to provide at least $230 million to NCEH to ensure all its programs are adequately funded. Adequate investments today and into the future in core environmental health activities can be a critical down payment on health, productivity and happiness of countless Americans.

AAFA Applauds Senators Grassley and Wyden for Drug Pricing-Hearing – January 31, 2019
An estimated 16.2 million Americans are at risk for anaphylaxis – a severe allergic reaction. These people need access to affordable epinephrine auto-injectors. AAFA applauds Senators Chuck Grassley and Ron Wyden for holding hearings on drug pricing in America. This series of hearings demonstrates the senators’ commitment to exploring the problem of overpriced medications in America. AAFA particularly thanks Senator Grassley for highlighting the cost of epinephrine auto-injectors in his statement.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging CVS to Keep Primatene Mist HFA Behind the Counter – January 25, 2019
AAFA and 11 other patient and medical organizations urge Troyen Brennan, Chief Medical Officer at CVS Health, to consider keeping Primatene Mist HFA “behind the counter” to help reduce inappropriate use of this medication and to protect patients from adverse events. While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not have the authority to require that OTC drugs be held behind the counter, pharmacies do have discretion to hold these products behind the counter in the interests of patient health and safety. The organizations urge placing inhaled epinephrine behind the counter to help best serve the needs of customers who have asthma.

AAFA Signs Letter Supporting ‘The American Lung Association Lung Health Cohort’ – January 18, 2019
AAFA and 8 other leading lung health and medical organizations write in support of a new epidemiologic cohort study, entitled “The American Lung Association Lung Health Cohort” (U01 HL146408‐01), submitted by a team of accomplished researchers in partnership with the American Lung Association’s Airways Clinical Research Centers (ACRC). These organizations believe that this study, which seeks to define and promote lung health, will develop targets to intercept and prevent chronic lung disease, and will also engage the broader scientific community in a population‐based effort to understand all forms of respiratory disease.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on Proposed Healthy People 2030 Objectives – January 17, 2019
AAFA, as part of the Childhood Asthma Leadership Coalition (CALC), is concerned that the proposed objectives in Healthy People 2030 related to asthma are insufficient to capture the magnitude of the public health burden of asthma, or the impact of approaches to address it. The proposed objectives include seven objectives related to asthma, fifteen fewer than were included in Healthy People 2020. CALC supports the inclusion of the objectives proposed but urges HHS to restore a number of others to the final list of Healthy People 2030 objectives.

AAFA Letter to Weatherford, Texas, Independent School District on Treatment of Severe Allergic Reactions – January 16, 2019
AAFA sent letters to the superintendent, president and nurse coordinator of the Weatherford Independent School District to express concerns regarding their recent decision that personnel will administer Benadryl, rather than epinephrine, to some students displaying symptoms of anaphylaxis. AAFA is deeply concerned that this protocol – which is directly contradicted by medical evidence – could unnecessarily place many children in the Weatherford Independent School District in potentially deadly situations. AAFA urges the Weatherford Independent School District to reverse the new policy and implement appropriate, epinephrine-based protocols for addressing anaphylaxis.

2018

AAFA Signs Letter Supporting Regulations to Label for Sesame – December 21, 2018
AAFA, along with other patient advocacy groups representing people with food allergies, sent a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to express strong support of requiring allergen labeling and appropriate manufacturing practices for sesame. Sesame has become “the ninth allergen” and reactions to it can be severe.

AAFA Signs Letter Opposing Proposed Changes of the NSPS – December 17, 2018
AAFA and several other health and medical organizations sign letter expressing opposition to the changes proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the Emission Standards for New, Reconstructed, and Modified Sources within the Oil and Natural Gas Sector, also referred to as the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS, or “the Rule”). The proposed rule changes will inflict significant harm on public health. Methane leaks accelerate climate change and thus increase health threats worldwide. Leaks of VOCs endanger the health of people living near oil and gas infrastructure. This would have the effect of increasing the health threats facing millions of Americans, as well as people around the world.

AAFA Sign On Letter on Draft of the Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter – December 11, 2018
AAFA joined other patient advocacy groups to send a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Draft Integrated Science Assessment for Particulate Matter (ISA). These organizations consider the review of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for particulate matter (PM) to be a top priority concern for the protection of public health, a position reinforced by the escalating evidence of its widespread harm.

AAFA Signs Onto Letter to Department of Homeland Security’s Definition of “Public Charge” – December 10, 2018
AAFA joined other members of the Childhood Asthma Leadership Coalition on a letter to the Department of Homeland Security concerning their expansion of the definition of “public charge.” The expanded definition would consider the receipt or potential receipt of a broad range of public benefits as a negative factor against people seeking U.S. residency or citizenship. As leading advocates and experts in childhood asthma, public health, environmental health, poverty, housing, health care, and health care economics, CALC members are deeply concerned about the potential effects of this rule on children with asthma.

AAFA Signs Onto Letter Opposing the Medicare Part B International Pricing Index Model – December 10, 2018
AAFA joined the Part B Access for Seniors and Physicians Coalition express concern to Congress about a proposal by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to implement an unprecedented, mandatory experiment affecting Medicare beneficiaries who take Part B-covered drugs. The proposed CMS International Pricing Index model would open the door for foreign-based price controls, preventing treatment based on evidence and best practices.

AAFA Signs Onto Letter Opposing EPA Proposal to Weaken Carbon Pollution Limits on New Power Plants – December 6, 2108
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a proposal to dramatically weaken the Carbon Pollution Standards for New, Modified and Reconstructed Power Plants, which are protections against carbon pollution that have been in effect since 2015. In response, 15 health and medical groups sent a letter stating concern about the effects this can have on every American, especially American, but certain groups are more at risk – including children, older adults, pregnant women, low-income communities and communities of color.

AAFA Signs Onto Letter Asking Congress to Fully Fund the EPA in 2019 – November 29, 2108
AAFA joined a group of public health and medical organizations to urge Congress to fully fund the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and oppose all policy riders – including those that would block, weaken or delay critical clean air and public health protections for the Fiscal Year 2019.

AAFA Signs Onto Letter to FDA Asking for Sesame to Be Included as Major Allergen – November 27, 2108
The Congressional Asthma and Allergy Caucus sent this letter prepared by AAFA to FDA Commissioner Gottlieb urging the addition of sesame to the list of major food allergens.

AAFA Signs Onto Letter Asking EPA to Reconsider Limits on Air Toxics – November 14, 2108
AAFA joined other organizations to ask the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to abandon current plans to reconsider limits on mercury and other air toxics from power plants. The existing Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) are an EPA success story. The standards have achieved a 90% reduction in mercury emissions from power plants thanks to the controls that these facilities have installed in response to the rule. Rolling back these standards can be harmful to the health of millions of Americans.

AAFA Statement on FDA Approval of Primatene Mist for Mild Asthma – November 9, 2108
The FDA recently announced approval for the readmittance of Primatene Mist – an over-the-counter (OTC) epinephrine inhaler. In this letter, AAFA cautions patients to not stop their current asthma treatment nor start taking this OTC option without talking to their health care provider first.

AAFA Signs Onto Letter Opposing on the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) Rule – October 31, 2018
Climate change poses grave threats to public health. To protect our communities and the public, the United States must significantly reduce carbon pollution from the largest stationary source, which is the nation’s fleet of existing power plants. As representatives of the medical and public health community, 12 organizations sent a letter on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) the replacement of the Clean Power Plan with the proposed Emission Guidelines for Existing Electric Utility Generating Units, commonly referred to as the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule; the proposed revisions to emission guideline implementing regulations; and the proposed revisions to the New Source Review (NSR) Program.

AAFA Letter Applauding FDA Steps Toward Declaring Sesame as Major Allergen – October 30, 2018
Based on reports of adverse reactions from our community of over 55,000 food allergy patients, AAFA has advocated for the inclusion of sesame as a major allergen. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now asking the public for more information about the prevalence of sesame allergy and sesame presence in food. AAFA applauds the FDA’s commitment to explore the classification of sesame as a major allergen.

AAFA Signs Onto Letter Opposing Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule – October 26, 2018
AAFA and more than 90 health and medical organizations sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opposing the proposed Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient Vehicles Rule for Model Years 2021–2026 Passenger Cars and Light Trucks. This rule would rollback existing vehicle emission and efficiency standards and the Clean Air Act that protects citizens from harmful pollution.

AAFA Sends Letter to ICER About Draft Report on Biologic Therapies – October 22, 2018
AAFA sends comment letter to the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (“ICER”) about their Draft Report “Biologic Therapies for Treatment of Asthma Associated with Type 2 Inflammation” (September 24, 2018). AAFA appreciates that ICER is calling attention to the biologic therapy access and cost issues that impact the quality of life and sometimes longevity of life of Americans with asthma. However, AAFA believes that ICER understated or overlooked some important points in its analysis. ICER must make sure its analyses more accurately reflect comorbidities, incremental adverse events from chronic steroid use, and the intrinsic biologic variability of the inputs associated with asthma. Greater transparency and using real-world data in ICER’s modeling can make ICER’s work more helpful to patients who most need these therapies. Too little is known about the multi-year natural history of asthma, the real-world use of treatments (including adherence), and the cost and efficacy of the treatments.

AAFA Signs Letter Concerning Restoring Access to Medications and Modernizing Health Savings Account Act – October 22, 2018
AAFA has signed onto a letter from the Health Choices Coalition asking the Senate to pass H.R. 6199, the Restoring Access to Medication and Modernizing Health Savings Accounts Act of 2018. This would allow Americans to purchase over-the-counter medicines without a prescription using flexible spending arrangements (FSAs), health savings accounts (HSAs) and other tax-preferred accounts.

AAFA Signs Letter Opposing Policy Allowing Medicare Advantage Plans to Use Step Therapy for Drug Coverage – September 26, 2018
Along with several patient organizations, AAFA has signed a letter to the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services opposing a proposed policy change that would allow Medicare Advantage plans to use step therapy for drug coverage. If this policy is passed, patients may have to take a drug that is not designed to treat their specific health circumstances, negatively impacting care.

AAFA Signs Letter Expressing Concern Over CMS Policy on Step Therapy for Part B Drugs – September 12, 2018
AAFA and several other patient organizations signed a letter to the leaders of Congress about concerns over a memo from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that changes long-standing policy and allows Medicare Advantage (MA) plans to implement step therapy to manage Part B drugs in circumstances where applicable. Original Medicare policies do not require step therapy. CMS’ sudden and disruptive decision to allow the inappropriate use of step therapy policies is inconsistent with the requirement that MA plans provide coverage consistent with Original Medicare and threatens to restrict access and decrease therapy choices for patients. This could put patients’ health at risk and potentially creates long-term health care issues in the process.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging CVS Health to Stop Plans to Use ICER assessments for Drug Coverage – September 12, 2018
AAFA and several other health and patient advocacy organizations have contacted CVS Health to urge them to abandon their recently-announced decision to consider denying coverage of drugs that fail to meet a cost-effectiveness threshold. The letter expresses deep concern that CVS Caremark will offer clients the option of formularies that rely on assessments from the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) to deny coverage of drugs if they do not meet a subjective “quality-adjusted-life-year” (QALY)- based threshold. CVS’ reliance on a cost-effectiveness threshold is profoundly misguided and would prohibit affordable medications to populations who need it.

AAFA Applauds Walgreens and kaléo Partnership, Increasing Patient Access to Life-Saving Epinephrine – September 10, 2018

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Funding Increase for CDC NCEH in FY 2019 – September 6, 2018
AAFA and 36 other public and environmental health organizations sign letter to support increased funding for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Environmental Health (NCEH) in the FY 2019 Labor, HHS, Education appropriations bill. The letter urges that the proposed cuts in the House bill are restored and to provide at least $217 million to NCEH to ensure all of its programs are adequately funded. This funding will help ensure that NCEH can work to strengthen and expand its programs. Increasing our investments in environmental health prevention activities today will help reduce illness, disease, injury and even death.

AAFA Sends Letter Expressing Concerns About Epinephrine Shortage – August 24, 2018
AAFA’s President and Chief Executive Office, Kenneth Mendez, on behalf of the more than 15 million Americans living with life-threatening food allergies, expresses concerns to Secretary of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Alex M. Azar II, about the recent shortages of epinephrine auto-injectors (EAI). This letter proposes solutions that can address the current “shortage” and make a difference for people with life-threatening allergies. Patient access to this life-saving drug must be restored, especially when there are options available. Now is the time for private insurance, pharmacy benefit companies, the federal government and pharmaceutical companies to work together and fast-track coverage for a readily available product. Such cooperation would save lives, solve a drug shortage issue and provide affordable treatment access to patients.

AAFA Signs Letter to Senate Opposing the ‘Relief from New Source Performance Standards Act’ – August 23, 2018
AAFA and nine other health and medical organizations urge the Senate to oppose S. 1857, the “Relief from New Source Performance Standards Act.” The bill delays lifesaving and long-overdue protections from air pollution from wood burning and would result in further harm to Americans’ health from toxic pollutants. These pollutants cause a range of adverse health effects including asthma attacks, heart attacks, lung cancer and premature deaths. The legislation would unnecessarily delay for three additional years the full implementation of standards for new wood-burning boilers, furnaces, and stoves to reduce emissions. The result would be years of premature deaths and health problems from wood smoke pollution that could have been prevented.

AAFA Signs Letter Opposing EPA’s Harmful Clean Power Plan ‘Replacement’ Proposal – August 22, 2018
AAFA and 9 other health and medical organizations oppose the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) release of the proposed Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule to replace the Clean Power Plan. As noted in the letter, the EPA’s proposed replacement for the Clean Power Plan is not just inadequate, it is dangerous. The urgency of protecting public health from the impacts of climate change increases with each passing day—and so does the necessity of implementing and enforcing strong limits on carbon pollution from power plants as outlined in the Clean Power Plan. Our organizations urge EPA to reject the proposed rule and implement the Clean Power Plan. In addition to the immediate damage that this proposal would cause to human health, failing to address the pollution causing climate change will have lasting health consequences.

AAFA Signs Letter Opposing the EPA’s Proposed Rule “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science” – August 16, 2018
AAFA, as part of the Childhood Asthma Leadership Coalition, opposes the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule, “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science.” The rule provides that pivotal studies would need to rely on data that are available “in a manner sufficient for independent validation.” The Coalition is deeply concerned that in reality this provision would limit the use of research that could improve the lives of children with asthma, favoring deregulation over reasonable policymaking to protect and promote health. The letter urges EPA against moving forward with this proposed rule, and recommend that EPA solicit Science Advisory Board (SAB) review of any action regarding the standards around EPA research, to ensure that the EPA continues to promote the consideration of high-quality research that protects public health.

AAFA Signs Letter Strongly Opposing the Trump Administration’s Plan to Revoke Cleaner Cars Standards – August 2, 2018
AAFA and nine other health and medical organizations oppose a proposal from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to weaken the 2021-2026 vehicle emissions and mileage requirements and withdraw the waiver that permits California to set more protective cleaner cars standards. This proposal from EPA and NHTSA would dismantle fair, achievable pollution limits with a track record of success, limits that will help protect Americans from the life-threatening health impacts of climate change. It would also preempt the ability of states to protect the health of their residents by curbing greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles. If these vehicle standards are weakened, the nation loses a crucial tool to fight climate change. Rolling back these standards is another step backward from the essential fight to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. From degraded air quality due to higher temperatures to increased risk from wildfires, climate change poses serious threats to all Americans, especially to the most vulnerable, including children, older adults and those living with chronic diseases.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter Regarding the HHS Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-Of-Pocket (OOP) Costs – July 16, 2018
AAFA and 52 other leading patient advocacy groups submitted a comment letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regarding the ‘HHS Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-Of-Pocket (OOP) Costs’. The letter reflects that these organizations are ready to work with the HHS and other policymakers to implement policies, which ensure all patients in need have access to the prescription therapies their healthcare providers prescribe for them while at the same time incentivizing the development of innovative new medicines that can help patients get well, stay healthy, keep their condition from worsening and/or have a higher quality-of-life. These organizations wish to underscore that patient assistance programs provide a much-needed safety net for so many patients—in both commercial and publicly funded health plans—who simply cannot afford the ever-growing costs of their medications. Until all patients have affordable, unencumbered access to the therapies they need, patient assistance programs must continue their critically important work of giving much-needed financial support to patients who require costly medications to maintain or regain their health, well-being and quality-of-life.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter in Response to the President’s Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs – July 16, 2018
AAFA and 101 other patient groups, as a part of the I Am Essential coalition, submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in response to the ‘President’s Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs’. The comment letter states the importance of access to medications to maintain healthy and full lives, prevent and cure diseases, and keep patients alive, particularly for those with chronic and serious health conditions. However, patients are bearing a greater share of healthcare costs at the pharmacy as a result of changes in plan benefit design by insurance companies that include high deductibles, high out-of-pocket maximums, along with rising copays and co-insurance. This letter suggests a number of proposals, including keeping prescription drugs outside the plan deductible or establishing a separate low drug deductible.

AAFA Submits Comment Letter Regarding ‘Traveling by Air with Service Animals’ – June 20, 2018
AAFA submitted a comment letter to the Docket Management Facility of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) regarding the “Traveling by Air with Service Animals” Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), docket number DOT-OST-2018-0068. AAFA recognizes the importance of accommodating those with disabilities who benefit from bringing a comfort animal on board a flight. However, a balanced policy must be achieved to also protect airline passengers who are at risk of severe allergic reactions to pet dander. An increase in the number of comfort animals allowed to board a flight unfortunately directly increases the risk to the health of those with animal allergies. The health and rights of passengers with asthma and allergies should not be subjugated to those with other disabilities who require comfort animals. AAFA applauds recent airline efforts to crackdown on growing abuse of the rules governing “comfort animal” on planes, and we welcome DOT’s initiative through this ANPRM to seek a balanced policy that accommodates all passengers with disabilities.

AAFA Submits Comment Letter to ICER Regarding Biologic Treatments for Asthma – June 5, 2018
AAFA submitted a comment letter to the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) regarding its decision to ask patients with asthma about their experience with the disease to inform its newest report. As ICER notes in its Patient Guide to Open Input, assessing patient experience is imperative to creating a report that supports the policies and guidelines that are meaningful to patients with asthma. While AAFA supports biologics as a promising class of drugs to improve asthma outcomes, we urge ICER to consider cost structure and issues of affordability. AAFA is eager to continue to provide input to ICER to ensure that the needs and preferences of patients with asthma are appropriately taken into consideration within any larger push for policy development and/or change.

AAFA and Other Health Groups Urge the Senate to Oppose S. 263, the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017 – April 23, 2018
AAFA and other health and medical organizations urge Senators to oppose S. 263, the “Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017″, as it delays lifesaving standards to reduce ozone pollution, or smog. It permanently weakens the Clean Air Act and future air pollution health standards for all criteria pollutants. The bill weakens implementation and enforcement of all lifesaving air pollution health standards, including those for carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, particulate matter, and sulfur dioxide. Clean air is fundamental for good health, and the Clean Air Act promises all Americans air that is safe to breathe. This bill is an attempt to undermine our nation’s proven clean air health protections.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter Opposing Short-Term, Limited-Duration Insurance Plan Proposed Rule – April 23, 2018
AAFA and 96 other patient groups submitted comments on the short-term, limited-duration insurance proposed rule (short-term plans) to the Department of Health and Human Services. These comments express serious concern regarding the reversal of previously established guardrails for enrollment in short-term plans and the impact it will have on the health of individuals, in particular those living with chronic and serious conditions. This rule, if finalized, will have a crippling effect on individuals’ healthcare and long-lasting implications on the stability of the health insurance market. Redefining short-term plans, as proposed, would take away comprehensive health benefits and patient protections, increase healthcare costs on individuals and the healthcare system, and put greater strain on the individual health insurance market.

AAFA Supports Letter Requesting Funding for CDC’s National Asthma Control Program – April 13, 2018
AAFA supports a ‘Dear Colleague’ letter from Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) to Chairman Roy Blunt and Ranking Member Patty Murray of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. This letter was signed by 18 Senators and requests funding for a $30 million appropriation in fiscal year 2019 for the National Asthma Control Program (NACP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The NACP tracks asthma prevalence, promotes asthma control and prevention, and builds capacity in state and community health program. This program trains educators and health professionals to diagnose, treat and manage asthma. These funds will help to reduce the burden of asthma and continue to keep our communities and children healthy.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Funding for CDC Programs in FY 2019 – April 9, 2018
AAFA and 152 other members of the CDC Coalition and other supporting state and national organizations urge Congress to provide $8.445 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s programs in the FY 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. We believe that Congress should prioritize funding for all of the activities and programs supported by CDC which are essential to protect the health of the American people. In addition to ensuring a strong public health infrastructure and protecting Americans from public health threats and emergencies, CDC programs are crucial to reducing health care costs and improving health.

AAFA Signs Letter for Funding Increase for CDC’s National Asthma Control Program for FY 2019 – March 8, 2018
AAFA and 14 other organizations urge support from Senators/Representatives for an increase in funding for Fiscal Year 2019 for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Asthma Control Program (NACP). Specifically, support for a $1 million increase, bringing funding to $30.0 million for FY 2019, which would ensure the program can continue to assist states with combatting the human and economic burden caused by asthma. Asthma remains a serious and costly health issue in our nation and the NACP is making a difference in improving disease outcomes.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter Opposing the Association Health Plans Proposed Rule – March 6, 2018
AAFA and 117 other patient and community organizations submitted comments on the Department of Labor’s proposed rule issued on January 5, 2018 that expands the scope and applicability of Association Health Plans (AHPs). The letter comments that the proposed changes would negatively impact access to quality, affordable care for consumers, disrupt the individual and small business marketplace, and further strain the limited resources of state regulators. AAFA and the other organizations are committed to supporting access and coverage for the healthcare needs of individuals living with chronic and serious conditions, and are concerned that the proposed rule, if finalized, would fail to provide the critical health coverage, quality health care and benefits necessary to meet the needs of patients.

AAFA Signs Letter Opposing the Relief from New Source Performance Standards Act – March 5, 2018
AAFA and other health and medical organize sign on to letter opposing H.R. 453, or the “Relief from New Source Performance Standards Act.” The bill, which delays lifesaving and long-overdue protections from air pollution from wood burning and would result in further harm to Americans’ health from toxic pollutants, has been incorporated into Section 3 of H.R. 1917, the “BRICK Act.” Wood smoke from residential wood heaters is a significant source of air pollution that harms human health, especially for people with asthma and other lung diseases. The legislation would unnecessarily delay for three additional years the full implementation of standards for new wood-burning boilers, furnaces, and stoves to reduce emissions.

AAFA Signs Letter Surrounding Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Language – February 27, 2018
AAFA and other health organizations sign on to letter urging House and Senate to consider specific language for the fiscal year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). These organizations encourage refraining from including any language that would have a detrimental impact on research at the Congressionally-Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) and other medical research conducted by the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The strong level of bipartisan Congressional support for the defense health research programs is a beacon of hope to the military families, retirees, veterans and civilians who must cope with these diseases and disorders.

AAFA Signs Comment Letter on the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for State Guidelines for Greenhouse Gas Emissions – February 26, 2018
AAFA and other health organizations sign on to comment letter on the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for State Guidelines for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Existing Electric Utility Generating Units. This letter to Scott Pruitt urges the Environmental Protection Agency to return to the implementation of the Clean Power Plan to best reduce carbon dioxide and its threats to the health of Americans, and to not pursue any further actions to develop a weaker, flawed and potentially harmful alternative. The risk of climate change demands EPA act immediately to curb release of greenhouse gases to protect the health of Americans.

AAFA Releases Statement on Bronchial Thermoplasty – February 20, 2018
AAFA releases statement of support of bronchial thermoplasty (BT), which is a drug free treatment option for some people whose asthma symptoms are not improved by other medication. BT can help people to better control their severe asthma and result in a decrease in the number and severity of asthma attacks. AAFA urges health plans and insurance carriers cover the costs of this procedure for those whose severe asthma is not well managed by less invasive therapies and whose physicians deem it appropriate.

AAFA Signs On to Letter Opposing EPA’s Proposed Repeal of Emission Requirements for Gliders – January 5, 2018
AAFA and 11 other health and medical organizations urge EPA’s Administrator Scott Pruitt to retain and implement the current Phase 2 GHG Emissions and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Medium- and HeavyDuty Vehicles, and not to repeal the emissions requirements for glider vehicles, glider engines and glider kits. These standards will not only help to mitigate climate change and its associated health risks, but will also significantly reduce emissions of toxic and carcinogenic air pollutants, benefiting public health in communities across the country.

 

2017

AAFA Signs On to Letter Urging An Immediate Five Year Extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) – December 21, 2017
AAFA and over 1,000 other organizations urge leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives to immediately enact a five-year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). CHIP funding expired on September 30, 2017 and as federal funding to the states is running out, families across the country are receiving disenrollment notices and face an uncertain future about their children’s health care. CHIP has been an essential source of children’s coverage, ensuring access to high-quality, affordable, pediatric-appropriate health care for children in working families whose parents earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to purchase private health insurance on their own. CHIP has played a critical role in reducing the number of uninsured children by more than 68 percent, from nearly 15 percent in 1997 to less than five percent in 2015, while improving health outcomes and access to care for children and pregnant women.

AAFA Signs On to Letter Urging House and Senate to Provide Funding For CDC Programs for FY2018 – December 4, 2017
AAFA and other organizations urge the House and Senate to provide at least $7.8 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s programs as a final FY 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations bill or other final FY 2018 funding legislation is being developed. These organizations urge the rejection of inclusion of any controversial policy riders that would threaten public health, and believe that Congress should prioritize funding for all of the activities and programs supported by CDC. CDC programs are essential to protect the health of the American people, reducing health care costs and improving health.

Defense Health Research Protected in Final FY18 National Defense Authorization Act – November 9, 2017
Thanks to the nationwide grassroots advocacy led by the Defense Health Research Consortium (DHRC) and its allied organizations, including AAFA, the final House-Senate conference report to the fiscal year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act will not include four provisions restricting medical research at the Department of Defense (DoD).

AAFA Signs On to Letter In Response to EPA Announcement to Revoke the Clean Power Plan – October 10, 2017
AAFA and 18 other health organizations oppose the EPA announcement to revoke the Clean Power Plan, stating that this is inconsistent with EPA’s core mission of protecting public health and the environment. Per the letter, revoking this lifesaving plan denies Americans these health protections and removes crucial tools to reduce pollution that causes climate change.

AAFA Signs On to Letter Urging Senators to Support the Durbin-Blunt Amendment – July 27, 2017
AAFA and other organizations urge Senators John McCain and Jack Reed to support the bipartisan Durbin-Blunt amendment to nullify several provisions related to medical research included in S. 1519, the fiscal year 2018 National Defense Authorization Act. As reported by the Senate Armed Services Committee, S. 1519 would have the effect of severely restricting, and in some cases terminating, critical medical research programs funded by the Department of Defense (DoD).

AAFA Re-Signs On to Letter Opposing the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017 And Its New Amendment – July 17, 2017
AAFA and other health organizations urge Congress to oppose the Ozone Standards Implementation Act, which would delay long-overdue updated ozone standards and permanently weaken the Clean Air Act and the health protections it provides for Americans, particularly seniors, children and people living with chronic disease, against dangerous air pollutants. A new amendment added to the letter that was adopted in committee would eliminate key enforcement provisions under the Clean Air Act.

AAFA Signs On to Letter Opposing the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017 – June 27, 2017
AAFA and other health organizations urge Congress oppose the Ozone Standards Implementation Act, which would delay long-overdue updated ozone standards and permanently weaken the Clean Air Act and the health protections it provides for Americans, particularly seniors, children and people living with chronic disease, against dangerous air pollutants.

AAFA and Other Organizations Issue a Declaration on Climate Change and Health – June 19, 2017
AAFA and other public health, patient advocacy, nursing and medical organizations reiterate their longstanding commitment to addressing climate change as a public health issue. The Declaration on Climate Change and Health articulates their consensus on the health impacts of climate change and the need for action to protect the public’s health.

AAFA Supports the Formation of an FDA Office of Patient Affairs – June 12, 2017
AAFA joins other health organization in support of the proposed formation of an FDA Office of Patient Affairs to coordinate opportunities for patient involvement in medical product development and regulation at FDA, as well as better assist patients and patient organizations desiring to get more involved. AAFA joins others in also suggesting additional ways to improve this proposal, particularly by harnessing patient engagement capabilities already present in the Office of the Commissioner, and by ensuring such an office does not act as a barrier to existing relationships.

AAFA Supports Funding of Defense Health Research Programs – June 8, 2017
AAFA and other health organizations request the continued support of the Senate and House for the critical and highly successful defense health research programs funded through the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) at the Department of Defense (DoD), as they begin work on the Fiscal Year 2018 Defense Appropriations bill.

AAFA and Other Health Groups Oppose the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017 in Letter to Senate – May 23, 2017
AAFA and other health organizations urge Senators to oppose the Ozone Standards Implementation Act, which would delay long-overdue updated ozone standards and permanently weaken the Clean Air Act and the health protections it provides for Americans, particularly seniors, children, and people living with chronic disease, against dangerous air pollutants.

AAFA Urges Congress to Oppose the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act and the Honest and Open EPA Science Treatment Act – March 27, 2017
AAFA joins other health organizations to oppose these two bills which would restrict the input of scientific experts in the review of complex issues and add industry influence into the EPA’s decision-making process. The EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act would limit the voice of scientists, and the HONEST Act would limit the kinds of scientific data EPA can use as it develops policy.

AAFA Signs On to Letter Opposing the Ozone Standards Implementation Act of 2017 – March 22, 2017
AAFA and other health organizations urge Congress oppose the Ozone Standards Implementation Act, which would delay long-overdue updated ozone standards and permanently weaken the Clean Air Act and the health protections it provides for Americans, particularly seniors, children and people living with chronic disease, against dangerous air pollutants.

AAFA Signs On to Letter to Department of Health and Human Services Discussing Market Stabilization – March 8, 2017
AAFA and other organizations write to Secretary Tom Price of the Department of Health and Human Services to express thoughts and concerns over the recent proposed rule on market stabilization and the potential impact on patients and providers.

AAFA Joins Other Organizations to Urge Congress to Oppose Harmful Regulation Bills – February 28, 2017
AAFA and other health organizations urge Congress to Oppose H.R.998, H.R.1004, and H.R. 1009. Each of these bills would make effectively make it harder to protect the public health of Americans.

AAFA Joins CSPI in Support of Adding Sesame to Labeling on Food Packages – February 27, 2017
AAFA joins the Center for Science in the Public Interest to urge the Food and Drug Administration to further consider adding sesame to the list of ingredients that must be disclosed on food labels.

Organizations Urge President Trump to be Mindful of Role of Federal Public Health and Biomedical Research Workforce – February 27, 2017
AAFA and other organizations urge President Trump to continue to recognize the essential role of the federal workforce and the many public health and biomedical research jobs are critical to protecting public safety and national security.

AAFA Supports Call for Children’s Initiative on School Infrastructure and Environmental Health – February 22, 2017
AAFA joined other organizations to support a federal children’s initiative which will recognize children’s unique vulnerability to environmental health hazards, reduce environmental risks, generate benefits for children, save taxpayer money and provide local jobs to many communities around the country.

AAFA Joins Other Patient Groups Urging Secretary Price to Maintain Patient Protections – February 14, 2017
AAFA signed a letter urging new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to maintain and enforce the ACA’s patient protections as he reviews the law and its implementing regulations.

AAFA Joins Other Organizations to Urge Congress to Approve the 2017 Defense Appropriations Act – February 8, 2017
AAFA signed onto to letter urging Congress to complete the final negotiations on the 2017 Defense Appropriations Act and to move the bill through the House and Senate toward enactment. Any further delay and failure to enact the final bill will have major negative health implications for millions of Americans, especially veterans.

AAFA Signs On to Letter to the Senate Encouraging Congress to Retain Current Patient Protections – February 6, 2017
AAFA signed onto a letter to Congress about the possible loss of key protections in current law that guarantee access to comprehensive and affordable insurance coverage for patients with preexisting health conditions. 

AAFA Signs On to Letter to the House of Representatives to Encourage Congress to Retain Current Patient Protections – February 6, 2017
AAFA joins other health organizations to encourage the Senate and House of Representatives to retain protections for patients as they move forward with efforts to repeal, modify or replace the Affordable Care Act. The patient protections that have been in place since 2014 include prohibiting pre-existing condition exclusions, restricting premium ratings, banning annual and lifetime benefit limits, and prohibiting coverage rescissions.

AAFA Signs On to Letter Opposing Blocks to Air Pollution Limits – February 1, 2017
AAFA joined other medical and public health organizations urging Congress to oppose any Congressional Review Act resolution of disapproval that would block air pollution limits that address the leakage of methane.

AAFA Supports Light Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emissions Standards – January 10, 2017
AAFA supports the proposed determination on the appropriates of light duty vehicle greenhouse gas emissions standards under the midterm evaluation. These standards remain appropriate under the Clean Air Act and support strengthening these standards going forward to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

AAFA Joins Other Organizations to Provide View on the Importance of the Medicaid Program – January 6, 2017
AAFA and other healthcare organizations urge Congress to understand the importance of the Medicaid program and how it works to improve the health of underserved communities.

2016

AAFA Joins Health Organizations to Oppose the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017, H.R.5. – December 29, 2016
AAFA joined other public health and medical organizations urging Congress to oppose H.R.5, which would undermine the federal government’s ability to set lifesaving public health protections by requiring federal standards to be based on industry cost estimates and not what best protects the public.

AAFA Signs on to Letter Opposing Harmful Policy Riders – December 2, 2016
AAFA signs on to letter urging Congress to oppose all harmful policy riders that would block, weaken or delay critical clean air and public health protections.

AAFA Signs Letter Urging Congress to Approve Funding for Defense Health Research Programs – November 18, 2016
AAFA and 65 other health organizations signed a letter urging Congress to complete the 2017 Defense Appropriations Act which includes strong funding for medical research. Millions of American veterans, military retirees, military families, and civilians benefit from the ongoing research funded by the Defense Health Research Programs at the Department of Defense.

AAFA Comments on New Model for School Health Services in D.C. – October 25, 2016
AAFA provided comments expressing concern over the new model for school health services that will be implemented in D.C. public schools and public charter schools starting in January 2017.

FDA Guidance on Insanitary Condition at Compounding Facilities – October 24, 2016
AAFA submitted comments in opposition of the draft guidance by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) titled, Insanitary Conditions at Compounding Facilities: Guidance for Industry. AAFA is concerned that the proposed guidance would severely limit patients’ access to immunotherapy and would create barriers to allergy treatment.

Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards for Light Duty Vehicles – October 3, 2016
AAFA signed on to a comment letter discussing the impact of federal standards for greenhouse gas emissions for light duty vehicles on human health and climate change.

The Health Harms of Biomass – September 14, 2016
AAFA signed a letter urging Congress to oppose policies which would increase the use of biomass in the production of electricity.

AAFA Joins PIPC in Response to ICER – September 14, 2016
AAFA signed a letter from the Partnership to Improved Patient Care in response to the call for input from ICER.

AAFA Encourages ICER to Incorporate the Patient Perspective – September 13, 2016
The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) is an independent non-profit organization that evaluates medical evidence and helps stakeholders interpret and apply evidence to improve patient outcomes and control costs. AAFA submitted comments emphasizing the need to include patients’ perspectives in response to an ICER call for comments on how to improve their value framework development process.

AAFA Letter About Rising Costs of Epinephrine Auto-Injectors – August 24, 2016
AAFA’s CEO addresses issues of access and affordability of life-saving epinephrine auto-injectors.

Proposed Revisions to the Regional Haze Rule – August 10, 2016
AAFA and other organizations signed a letter to the EPA in support of proposed revisions that will strengthen the Regional Haze Rule. We also urged the EPA to reconsider updates that would weaken reporting requirements and delay emission reductions.

Kentucky Medicaid Allergy Testing Coverage – July 21, 2016
AAFA commented on a proposed change in Kentucky that would eliminate Medicaid coverage for allergy testing.

Nitrogen Oxide Emissions – July 19, 2016
AAFA signed a letter urging the EPA to propose a new standard to cut emissions of nitrogen oxides from trucks.

Near-Road Monitoring – June 30, 2016
AAFA and other health organizations signed a letter to the EPA expressing concern about potential plans to reduce the near-road monitoring program, which monitors air pollution near roadways.

Medicare Part B Payments – June 28, 2016
AAFA and other patient organizations signed a letter to Congress listing patient concerns about proposed changes to Medicare Part B payments.

School-Based Medicaid Programs – June 27, 2016
We signed a letter to CMS urging improvements to school-based Medicaid programs and better school health initiatives.

Allergy Immunotherapy and Compounding – June 6, 2016
AAFA’s President and CEO spoke at an FDA meeting about regulations that might impact patient access to allergy shot treatments.

National Defense Authorization Act – June 1, 2016
AAFA signed a letter in opposition to certain sections of the National Defense Authorization Act, which would prohibit funding for most medical research at the Department of Defense (DoD). This limit on medical research could harm the health and well-being of military families.

Letter To NBC: Jokes About Food Allergies Can Put People in Danger – May 12, 2016
AAFA sent a letter to NBC expressing concern over a Today Show segment that belittled the severity of food allergies.

Air Travel and Disabilities – May 10, 2016
AAFA commented to the Department of Transportation explaining why asthma and allergies should be taken into consideration as disabilities during airline travel.

Medicare Part B Payment Program – May 9, 2016
AAFA submitted separate comments to CMS about the proposal to change Medicare Part B payment in a way that could negatively impact patients with chronic or complex conditions.

Medicare Part B Payment Program – May 9, 2016
We signed a letter in opposition to a CMS proposal that would change Medicare Part B payment in a way that could negatively impact patients with chronic or complex condition

Allergy Protocols in Federal Facilities – April 22, 2016
AAFA sent a letter to Federal Occupational Health (FOH) in support of epinephrine stocking and improved allergy policies in federal facilities.

Children’s Health Programs – April 20, 2016
We signed a letter from the Coalition for Healthier Schools in support of funding for children’s health programs at the U.S. EPA.

National Center for Environmental Health Funding – April 20, 2016
We signed a letter in support of funding for the CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health.

National Asthma Control Program – April 4, 2016
AAFA signed a letter in support of funding for the CDC’s National Asthma Control Program.

Defense of Health Research (Senate) – April 4, 2016
Defense of Health Research (House) – April 4, 2016
AAFA signed a letter to Congress in support of funding for health research programs.

Climate Change and Health – April 4, 2016
In recognition of National Public Health Week, AAFA and other health organizations signed an official Declaration on Climate Change and Health.

Medicare Advantage Cuts – March 31, 2016
AAFA and other health organization sent a letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to express concern about cuts to Medicare Advantage.

Medicare Payments – March 25, 2016
We joined with other health and medical organizations to sign a letter regarding Medicare Part D recommendations.

Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research Funding (House) – March 14, 2016
We signed a letter to Congress in support of funding for the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research (AHRQ).

School-Based Asthma Management Programs Act – March 7, 2016
AAFA sent a letter of support to the sponsors of the School-Based Asthma Management Programs Act (HR 4662).

AAFA Comments on Allergen Immunotherapy at American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI) Annual Meeting – March 7, 2016
AAFA’s former CEO, Dr. Cary Sennett, spoke at the AAAAI meeting about the importance of allergen shot treatments. Proposed changes to USP 797 pose a threat to patients by disrupting access to allergy immunotherapy.

Diversity in Clinical Trials – February 29, 2016
AAFA’s Senior Vice President of Policy, Advocacy, and Research, Meryl Bloomrosen, spoke at an FDA meeting about the importance of diversity in clinical trials and involving patients in research.

South Carolina’s Emergency Anaphylaxis Treatment Act – February 23, 2016
AAFA sent a letter in support of South Carolina’s Emergency Anaphylaxis Treatment Act, which would expand access to epinephrine in public places.

Clean Power Plan – February 12, 2016
Along with other health organizations, we signed a letter to the National Governors Association urging state governors to move forward with the EPA’s Clean Power Plan.

School Asthma Policies – February 1, 2016
We sent a letter to the Congressional Allergy and Asthma Caucus expressing concern about recent asthma emergencies in Texas schools.

Allergen Immunotherapy – January 29, 2016
We submitted comments regarding proposed regulations that could threaten the availability of immunotherapy treatments (allergy shots) in the United States.

Amtrak Pet Policy – January 29, 2016
AAFA sent a letter to Amtrak leadership expressing concern about a pilot program that would allow pets to travel on trains.
Amtrak Response to AAFA – February 9, 2016
Read Amtrak’s response to AAFA’s letter.

Food Labeling Modernization Act – January 27, 2016
AAFA sent a letter to the sponsors of the Food Labeling Modernization Act of 2015 to thank them for introducing the legislation.

FDA Allergenic Products Advisory Committee Spoken Comments – January 21, 2016
AAFA CEO Cary Sennett represented allergy patients’ perspective in testimony before the FDA’s Allergenic Products Advisory Committee.
FDA Allergenic Products Committee Presentation 

Smoke-Free Housing – January 19, 2016
AAFA submitted comments to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in support of HUD’s proposed ban on smoking in public housing units.

Every Student Succeeds Act – January 21, 2016
As part of the Working to Improve Student Health (WISH) coalition, AAFA signed a letter in support of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Nucala™ (Mepolizumab) Comments – January 12, 2016
We submitted comments to the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) regarding Nucala (Mepolizumab) treatment for asthma.
Nucala™ Mepolizumab Cover Letter 

Protection of Research Participants – January 6, 2016
AAFA sent comments to the Department of Health and Human Services about how to update and improve protections for patients participating in clinical research.

2015

Health Homes Program – December 21, 2015
We signed a letter in support of including asthma as one of the chronic conditions addressed by California’s Department of Health Care Services’ Health Homes Program.

Assistant Secretary for Health at HHS – November 24, 2015
AAFA and other organizations signed a letter in support of Dr. Karen DeSalvo’s nomination for Assistant Secretary for Health at the Department of Health and Human Services.

FDA Patient Engagement Advisory Committee – November 20, 2015
AAFA submitted comments to the FDA expressing disappointment that the FDA was not planning to include a greater number of patient representatives on the Patient Engagement Advisory Committee.

EPA Carbon Limit Protection (Senate) – November 16, 2015
EPA Carbon Limit Protections (House of Representatives) – November 16, 2015
AAFA joined other health organizations in signing a letter to the Senate and the House of Representatives opposing two Congressional Review Acts (CRA) that would block the EPA’s Clean Power Plan and carbon limits for new power plants.

CDC Funding – November 16, 2015
AAFA signed a letter to Congress to support strong funding for the CDC in any Fiscal Year 2016 spending legislation.

AHRQ Funding (Senate) – October 22, 2015
AHRQ Funding (House of Representatives) – October 22, 2015
AAFA signed a letter to Congress to support funding for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Medication Therapy Management (MTM) – October 16, 2015
AAFA signed a letter to Senators Isakson and Warner, co-chairs of the Senate Finance Committee Chronic Care Working Group, to support the Medication Therapy Management Empowerment Act of 2015 in their legislative efforts.

National Asthma Control Program – September 11, 2015
AAFA and other organizations supported funding for the CDC’s National Asthma Control Program in Fiscal Year 2016.

Institute of Medicine Food Allergy Study – August 30-September 1, 2015
AAFA commented to the Institute of Medicine regarding the study Food Allergies: Global Burden, Causes, Treatment, Prevention, and Public Policy.

Ozone Pollution Limit – August 11, 2015
We signed a letter to President Obama to show support of better ozone limits in the air.

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act – August 7, 2015
We signed a letter to Congress to support an asthma management provision in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

Medication Therapy Management – August 6, 2015
We signed a letter asking the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to allow more at-risk elderly patients to participate in the Medicare Part D Medication Therapy Management (MTM) program.

Clean Air Protections – August 4, 2015
We joined other health and medical groups to stand against a bill that would affect how clean the air is. This includes the Clean Air Act and the Clean Power Plan.

The Clean Power Plan – August 3, 2015
We praised the President’s message of the EPA’s Clean Power Plan Final Rule.

A Declaration on Climate Change and Health – June 23, 2015
We joined other groups to restate the public health community’s promise to look at climate change as a health issue.

Secondary Preventive Services – June 19, 2015
We signed a letter of support to the Treasury Secretary Jack Lew about secondary preventive services. These keep a disease or illness from getting worse. They also help those with asthma manage it and prevent related problems.

Electronic Health Records – June 15, 2015
We sent comments to the CMS about possible changes to the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program.

Improving Care for Medicare-Aged Population – June 14, 2015
We sent comments to the Senate Chronic Care Working Group. We offered options for better care for Medicare patients.

Part D Beneficiary Appeals Fairness Act – June 1, 2015
AAFA signed a letter in support of the Part D Beneficiary Appeals Fairness Act. This enables seniors to appeal if their medication is put on a Medicare Part D Specialty Tier.

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Strategic Vision – May 15, 2015
We sent comments to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) about research for the next 10 years.

The Family Asthma Act of 2015 – May 15, 2015
We support the Family Asthma Act of 2015. This act would make asthma research and public education better in the United States.

The School Asthma Management Plans Act – May 15, 2015
We support the School Asthma Management Plans Act. This would allow schools to improve how they manage asthma care.

NIH Innovation Fund – May 13, 2015
AAFA signed a letter to support funds for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) included in the 21st Century Cures Act draft bill.

The Climate Change Health Promotion and Protection Act – April 13, 2015
We signed a letter to Representative Lois Capps. We thanked her for bringing back the Climate Change Health Promotion and Protection Act. This act would help address the threat of climate change on health.

Ratepayer Protection Act – April 13, 2015
AAFA and other health groups signed a letter against to the Ratepayer Protection Act. This act would delay and block critical clean air protections.

Medication Costs and the Impact on Patients – April 9, 2015
AAFA’s former CEO, Dr. Cary Sennett, spoke at a congressional briefing about the impact rising medication costs will have on patients

Children’s Health Programs Funding – March 26, 2015
We signed a letter to support more money for federal programs that help schools reduce indoor air pollution. This would occur through the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA)’s office of Children’s Health Protection and the Office of Radiation and Indoor Air.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Funding – March 20, 2015
We signed a letter against ending the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in the House Labor HHS Subcommittee’s 2016 spending bill.

Ozone Standards – March 17, 2015
AAFA and other health groups sent comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the proposed National Ambient Air Quality Standards. This would limit the amount of harmful ozone in the air.

Dormant Therapies and 21st Century Cures – March 17, 2015
AAFA and other health groups signed a letter that the Dormant Therapies Act be included in the 21st Century Cures Act draft bill. This would help develop new cures for diseases. It would improve the quality of life for Americans with chronic diseases.

National Asthma Control Program – March 11, 2015
AAFA and other asthma organizations signed a letter to support more money for the National Asthma Control Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).