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Forging New Paths for Native American Heart Health

Posted By Amy Friedrich-Karnik, Director, Public Policy, Friday, December 7, 2018

 On December 5, WomenHeart collaborated with the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) to cohost a Convening on Native American Women’s Heart Health in Washington, DC. Over 40 experts in Native American health and research, women’s cardiovascular health, and public health programs for diverse Native American populations; community leaders; federal officials and policymakers; and Native American women living with heart disease gathered for a day to explore best practices and culturally competent ways of engaging and supporting Native American women in preventing and living with heart disease. There were dynamic panels that presented lessons learned from existing public health programs, two Native women who shared their stories and experiences of living with heart disease, and time for small groups to generate recommendations for moving the work forward. A full recap of the event will be featured in this month's Heart to Heart Newsletter. The night before the meeting, WomenHeart and NHLBI co-hosted a reception on the Hill in cooperation with the Congressional Caucus on Native Americans.

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November 2018 - Joining Forces for PAD

Posted By Amy Friedrich-Karnik, Director, Public Policy, Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Amy’s Advocacy Update

Earlier this month, WomenHeart hosted a convening on women and Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD). We brought together health care providers and advocates to discuss effective ways of raising awareness among women at risk for PAD and of supporting providers who diagnose and treat women living with PAD.

WomenHeart Champion Pam Parker shared her personal experience of having PAD, offering valuable insights for all key stakeholders in the room. WomenHeart shared the findings of our qualitative research on women’s experiences being diagnosed, treated for and living with PAD.

Participants were energized as they discussed ways for health care providers and community leaders to empower women with information about how to seek care and treatment for PAD so they stop experiencing leg pain, the most common PAD symptom. They talked about expanding access to screening and ensuring that all types of health care providers, including primary care, are well-versed in recognizing and treating PAD.

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October 2018 - It's Not Too Late to Take Action

Posted By Amy Friedrich-Karnik, Director, Public Policy, Thursday, November 1, 2018

Amy's Advocacy Corner

Over the past month, we have been bringing you videos of WomenHeart Champions speaking about the importance of protections that ensure people with pre-existing conditions, like heart disease, are able to access health insurance. And, we have been providing educational materials about relevant policies and asking you to take action. If you have yet to reach out to your members of Congress to tell them why health coverage is essential for women with heart disease, it’s not too late to do so.

Your voice matters. New federal policies took effect in Oct. that allow inadequate insurance plans onto the marketplace and permit states to waive important protections in some of its plans. WomenHeart will continue to speak up for the needs of women with heart disease and we encourage you to do so as well. 

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New Policies May Undermine Patient Protections

Posted By Amy Friedrich-Karnik, Director, Public Policy, Thursday, October 25, 2018

On Oct. 22, the Administration issued guidance that could impact women with heart disease. It would expand states’ ability to change some aspects of their health insurance marketplaces and undermine critical protections for millions of Americans living with pre-existing conditions, including heart disease. While state innovation waivers have existed for years, the new guidance goes further, allowing states to offer inadequate health insurance plans that can charge higher premiums for individuals with pre-existing conditions and deny coverage based on health status.

As a result, women living with or at risk of heart disease may be subject to insurance plans that are not comprehensive and fail to provide critical services like prescription medication and maternity care. WomenHeart urges the Administration to withdraw this guidance and to protect women with heart disease. Join us by taking action!

With just a few clicks, you can contact your members of Congress and tell them why protecting individuals with pre-existing conditions matters to you.   

 

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CMS Guidance Puts Millions of Americans at Risk

Posted By WomenHeart, Wednesday, October 24, 2018

New administration guidance, released on October 22, 2018, could send us back to days where pre-existing conditions were openly discriminated against, costing millions of Americans lifesaving care.

More than 25 patient and consumer groups representing millions of people nationwide with pre-existing health conditions issued a statement in response to administration guidance issued on October 22nd that gives states greater ability to skirt patient protections included in the Affordable Care Act.

Contact your member of Congress using our phone-to-action line at and let them know how important it is to .

 

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Patient Story: The Value of Insurance

Posted By WomenHeart, Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Watch WomenHeart Champion Jill as she shares the value of having health insurance. She talks about the fear of what could happen if her insurance ever lapses and if protections for people with preexisting conditions, like SCAD, ever went away. Take action now to ensure that doesn’t happen. If you have been on Repatha medication, but denied by insurers and unable to afford access, please contact Tricha Shivas.

 

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Congress is working on legislation that could help us live longer

Posted By Amy Friedrich-Karnik, Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Population experts say life expectancy in the United States has decreased in recent years, and America has fallen behind other developed nations. On Oct. 5, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL) introduced a bill that would require the federal government to develop a “National Strategy to Increase Life Expectancy.” WomenHeart supports this bill, which, among other things, calls for analysis of differences in life expectancy by sex. This will be important to understanding how we can improve women’s heart health. You can read more on the bill in this Newsweek article.

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Make Your Voice Heard

Posted By Amy Friedrich-Karnik, Friday, October 12, 2018
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NttqecCHnbE

On Wednesday, Oct. 10, the U.S. Senate voted on a resolution introduced by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) that would have overturned the expansion of short-term limited duration insurance plans. The bill would have preserved protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions and essential benefits guaranteed by the Affordable Care Act, as short-term plans are not required to do either. WomenHeart supported the bill, which would have improved access to adequate health insurance for women with heart disease. Unfortunately, the vote ended in a 50-50 tie, falling short of the majority needed to pass this measure and overturn the administration’s regulation extending the use of short-term plans. 

 

Threats to protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions remain (learn more by reading our fact sheet), so now is the time to take action. With just a few clicks, you can contact your members of Congress and make your voice heard.

 

Share your heart story and help all women with heart disease have access to care.

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The Long Fight Against Short Term Duration Plans

Posted By Amy Friedrich-Karnik, Director, Public Policy, Thursday, October 4, 2018

Legislation Rejects Inadequate Insurance Plans that Discriminate Against Women with Heart Disease

On Oct-. 2, a new federal regulation that authorizes the expanded use of short-term, limited-duration insurance plans went into effect. WomenHeart opposed this regulation when it was issued over the summer because such plans are inadequate and deny protections for people with pre-existing conditions, like heart disease. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) has introduced legislation that would overturn this rule. WomenHeart supports that bill, which could be voted on in the Senate as early as next week.

Stay tuned for ways you can take action and let your elected officials know it’s critical to defend protections for women with heart disease and others with pre-existing conditions! For more advocacy updates and step-by-step actions you can take to get involved in the vote next week,  sign up for our mailing list. 

 

 

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September 2018 - Keeping Voices Heard in Congress

Posted By Amy Friedrich-Karnik, Director, Public Policy, Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Amy's Advocacy Corner

One of WomenHeart’s policy and advocacy priorities is to make sure members of Congress hear the voices of women with heart disease and turn to WomenHeart and our Champions when their input is needed most. Health coverage is a top priority and we want all women to have access to quality care. To that end, we are proactive in making sure Congress hears from us—and you, particularly as it relates to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Soon, we will be sending you a call to action and providing the tools you need to reach out and make your voices heard on this issue.

WomenHeart Scientific Advisory Committee members Nanette Wenger, MD and Noel Bairey Merz, MD, along with Beverly H. Lorell, MD, recently published an article making the case for why “recent legislation and public policy changes are particularly relevant to the cardiovascular community.” The article describes how the Affordable Care Act (ACA) promoted women’s health and reversed prior sex inequities in health care. It argues that current policy trends to undermine the ACA “will adversely affect women’s general and specific CVD health.”

To learn more from WomenHeart about the impact of the ACA and what’s at stake, please read our fact sheet and stay tuned for calls to action.

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12/18/2018
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WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) patient advocacy organization with thousands of members nationwide, including women heart patients and their families, health care providers, advocates and consumers committed to helping women live longer, healthier lives. WomenHeart supports, educates and advocates on behalf of the nearly 48 million American women living with or at risk of heart disease. Our programs are made possible by donations, grants and corporate partnerships.

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WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease is a founding partner of The Heart Truth Red Dress campaign. The Heart Truth and Red Dress are trademarks of HHS.