Coalition Letters: 113th Congress

December 20, 2013
Alliance for a Stronger FDA
Letter to Senator Barbara Mikulski (Chairman, U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations), Senator Richard Shelby (Ranking Member, U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations), Congressman Harold Rogers (Chairman, U.S. House Committee on Appropriations), and Congresswoman Nita Lowey (Ranking Member, U.S. House Committee on Appropriations) urging Congress to make funding for the FDA a national priority.

January 3, 2014
National Coalition for Cancer Research
Comments regarding proposed rule FDA-2011-N-0898; Permanent Discontinuance or Interruption of Manufacturing of Certain Drug or Biological Products

January 6, 2014
Letter to President Obama urging him to recognize March as “National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month”

January 9, 2014
American Association for Cancer Research
Letter in support of Senator Richard Blumenthal’s S.Res. 330 commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Surgeon General’s Smoking and Health Report

February 24, 2014
Biotechnology Industry Organization
Letter to Margaret A. Hamburg (Commissioner of Food and Drugs, Food and Drug Administration) regarding guidance on the naming of biosimilar products and asking the FDA to support a system of distinguishable names for all biological medicines in order to uphold the critical principles of transparency in healthcare and promote accurate physician-patient communication.

February 25, 2014
Cancer Leadership Council
Letter to Marilyn Tavenner (Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) regarding the 2015 Letter to Issuers in the Federally-facilitated Marketplace (FFM).

March 3, 2014
Friends of Cancer Research
Letter to Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro regarding expedited approval mechanisms to speed promising drugs to patients suffering from serious illness and life-threatening diseases.

March 6, 2014
Letter to Marilyn Tavenner (Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) regarding CMS-4159-P, Contract Year 2015 Policy and Technical Changes to the Medicare Advantage and the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Programs (aka the protected classes issue)

March 7, 2014
Regulatory Education and Action for Patients
Letter to Marilyn Tavenner (Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) regarding CMS-4159-P: Medicare Program Contract Year 2015 Policy and Technical Changes to Medicare Advantage and the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit Programs

March 7, 2014
Society for Women’s Health Research
Letter to Congress urging examination of why more women and minorities aren’t involved in medical research

March 10, 2014
National Organization for Rare Disorders
Letter to Senator Ron Wyden (Chairman, U.S. Senate Committee on Finance), Senator Orrin G. Hatch (Ranking Member, U.S. Senate Committee on Finance), Congressman Dave Camp (Chairman, U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means), & Congressman Sander Levin (Ranking Member, U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means) urging Congress to reconsider implications of repealing the Orphan Drug Tax Credit

March 13, 2014
Coalition for Health Funding
Letter to Senator Barbara Mikulski (Chairman, U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations), Senator Richard Shelby (Ranking Member, U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations), Congressman Harold Rogers (Chairman, U.S. House Committee on Appropriations), and Congresswoman Nita Lowey (Ranking Member, U.S. House Committee on Appropriations) urging Congress to restore the FY15 302(b) funding allocations to the Labor, HHS, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee to the FY2010 level of $163.6 billion.

March 20, 2014
Cancer Leadership Council
Letter to Senator Ron Wyden (Chairman, U.S. Senate Committee on Finance) and Senator Orrin Hatch (Ranking Member, U.S. Senate Committee on Finance) commending the SGR Repeal and Medicare Provider Payment Modernization Act of 2014 (S. 2000)

March 25, 2014
Letter to Letter to Senator Barbara Mikulski (Chairman, U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations), Senator Richard Shelby (Ranking Member, U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations), Congressman Tom Harkin (Chairman, Labor, HHS, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee), and Congressman Jerry Moran (Ranking Member, Labor, HHS, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee) regarding the FY2015 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations funding request of $510 million to the CDC, $5.26 billion for NCI, and $251 million for nursing scholarships and loan repayment.

April 10, 2014
Cancer Leadership Council
Letter to Patrick Conway (Deputy Administrator for Innovation and Quality, Chief Medical Officer, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation) regarding the Mitre Corporation Technical Expert Panel for Specialty Payment Models Opportunities and Design Initiative and Request for Information on Specialty Payment Model Opportunities

April 11, 2014
National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity
Letter to Senator Mark Pryor, Senator Roy Blunt, Congressman Robert Aderholt, and Congressman Sam Farr regarding concern with the inclusion of language in the Joint Explanatory Statement of the 2014 Consolidated Appropriations Act that would establish a waiver approval process for the 2014-2015 school year for any local educational agency that incurs increased costs in order to comply with the updated nutrition standards for schools breakfasts and the updated standards for snack foods and beverages sold in schools.

April 17, 2014
Letter to Congressman Rodney Frelinghyusen (Chairman, House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Defense) and Congressman Peter Visclosky (Ranking Member, House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Defense) regarding the FY2015 Defense Appropriations bill and support for the defense health research programs conducted within the Department of Defense (DoD).

April 18, 2014
National WIC Association
Letter regarding Congressional efforts to intervene in the process of determining what foods are provided by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).

May 29, 2014
American Association for Cancer Research
Letter to Congress recognizing May as National Cancer Research Month and urging Members to fund NIH at $32 billion and NCI at $5.26 billion.

June 4, 2014
National Coalition for Cancer Research
Letter to Senator Tom Harkin (Chairman, U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations, Labor, HHS, and Education Subcommittee) and Senator Jerry Moran (Ranking Member, U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations, Labor, HHS, and Education Subcommittee) encouraging FY2015 funding levels to include $32 billion for NIH and $5.26 billion for NCI. 

July 2014
Letter to Dr. Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration regarding revisions to the Nutrition and Supplement Facts labels and the Reference Amounts Customarily Consumed (RACCs) for certain food and beverage products.

July 7, 2014
Letter to Senator Richard Blumenthal and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro expressing support for H.R. 2831/S.2342 (Stop Subsidizing Childhood Obesity Act) to amend the Internal Revenue Code to remove the tax deductibility of expenses for marketing foods of poor nutritional quality to children. 

July 28, 2014
“I am (still) essential” letter to HHS Secretary Burwell to reduce barriers to care in qualified health plans. This letter was signed in coalition with 333 patient groups. 

July 31, 2014
Letter to FDA Administrator Dr. Margaret Hamburg regarding food labeling: Serving sizes of foods that can reasonably be consumed at one-eating occasion and food labeling: revision of the nutrition and supplemental facts labels,

August 11, 2014
Letter to Senator Susan Collins, Senator Heidi Heitkamp, Representative Tom Latham, and Representative Mike McIntyre in support of S. 2210/H.R.1783, the School Food Modernization Act. 

August 2014
National Health Council
Letter to Marilyn Tavenner (Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) regarding a potential exclusion in the Open Payments Program for indirect payments to voluntary health agencies

August 29, 2014
Patient Quality of Life Coalition
Letter to Dr. Patrick Conway (Acting Director, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation) regarding the Medicare Care Choices Model

September 2, 2014
Cancer Leadership Council
Letter to Marilyn Tavenner (Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) regarding CMS-1612-P, Revisions to Payment Policies Under the Physician Fee Schedule for CY2015 

September 26, 2014
Letter to Tamara S. Syrek Jensen (Acting Director, Coverage and Analysis Group, Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services) regarding the national coverage analysis for lung cancer screening with low dose computed tomography (CAG-00439N)

October 1, 2014
Patient Access to Community Treatment Coalition
Letter to Senator Debbie Stabenow thanking her for working to advance legislation to ensure patient access to community-based care.

October 2, 2014
Cancer Leadership Council
Letter to Patrick Conway (Deputy Administrator for Innovation and Quality/Chief Medical Officer, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) regarding the Oncology Care Model.

November 7, 2014
American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Letter to the Senate Finance Committee regarding support for the “Removing Barriers to Colorectal Cancer Screening Act.”

November 12, 2014
One Voice Against Cancer
Letter to Congressman Hal Rogers, Congresswoman Nita Lowey, Senator Barbara Mikulski, and Senator Richard Shelby regarding funding for programs essential to the fight against cancer in FY 2015 appropriations.

November 17, 2014
Genetic Alliance
Letter to Sylvia Burwell (Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) regarding an extension on the Draft Guidance on Disclosing Reasonably Forseeable Risks in Research Evaluating Standards of Care.

November 20, 2014
National Coalition for Cancer Research
Letter to House and Senate appropriators regarding the FY2015 budget, particuarly for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Cancer Institute (NCI). 

November 2014
Friends of Cancer Research
Letter to Sylvia Burwell (Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) and Margaret A. Hamburg (Commissioner, U.S. Food and Drug Administration) regarding the draft guidance entitled “Framework for Regulatory Oversight of Laboratory Developed Tests (LDTs).”

December 2014
Patient Quality of Life Coalition
Letter to Marilyn Tavenner (Administrator, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) regarding CMS-1612-FC the calendar year 2015 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule final rule. Specifically, the coalition focused on advanced care planning CPT codes.

December 22, 2014
Regulatory Education and Action for Patients 
Letter to Sylvia Burwell (Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) regarding CMS-9944-P, Proposed Rule on Notice and Benefit of Payment Parameters for 2014. Specifically, REAP focused on essential health benefits, drug coverage, non-discrimination, transparency, and automatic re-enrollment. 

December 22, 2014
Cancer Leadership Council
Letter to Sylvia Burwell (Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) regarding CMS-9944-P, Proposed Rule on Notice and Benefit of Payment Parameters for 2014. Specifically, the CLC on essential health benefits, prescription drug benefits, the exceptions process, formulary drug list transparency, prohibition on discrimination, network adequacy and cost-sharing requirements, habilitative and rehabilitative services for cancer patients, data collection, and quality improvement strategy.

December 22, 2014
Cancer Leadership Council
Letter to Sylvia Burwell (Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) regarding CMS-9944-P, Proposed Rule on Notice and Benefit of Payment Parameters for 2014. Specifically, the NHC focused on annual eligibility redeterminations, annual open enrollment period, provision of essential health benefits, collection of data to define essential health benefits, prescription drug benefits, prohibition on discrimination, cost-sharing requirements, network adequacy standards, essential community providers, plan variations, and quality improvement strategy.