Health Initiatives in the Era of Healthcare Reform • Taking Health into Our Own Hands: Working the “Iron Triangle”
Healthcare Costs represent an increasing % of GDP- $650B more for Cancer Treatment
National Healthcare Quality Report - 2007 • “Preventive healthcare lags significantly behind other gains in healthcare.” • Access to care and information varied widely between racial/ethnic groups and by socio-economic status • Source: www.ahrq.gov
American Cancer Society Disparity Study - 2007 • Cancer patients with private insurance are much more likely to be diagnosed early, increasing their long-term survival • Those uninsured patients or those with Government insurance are more likely to be diagnosed with advanced stage disease at first treatment
The “Iron Triangle” • Building Health Empowerment • Community/Patient Interest Groups • Government enabling agencies • Congress
The Mandate • “Health is an indirect measure of a society’s collective democracy.” • Rudolf Virchow
Prostate Cancer Advocacy Carol Christner Director, Government Relations Karmanos Cancer Institute
What is Advocacy? • Advocacy is the action of supporting a cause or proposal. • It can be political, as in advocating for a specific piece of legislation. • It can be social and intellectual, as in speaking out on behalf of those without a voice.
How to Advocate • Define the problem: • Prostate cancer incidence and survivor rates are significantly higher for African Americans. • Find an answer: • Funds for research, education, awareness outreach, and early detection. • Identify the target: • House Resolution 313 introduced by Congressman Gregory Meeks (NY-6).
Communicate Your Message • Know the facts. • Do your homework on the issue you wish to discuss. • Review your legislators voting record and activities on similar issues. • Know how your issue affects your legislators constituency. • Every issue has at least two sides. Be prepared to respond to the opposing viewpoint.
How a Bill Becomes A Law(in the beginning) • A member of Congress sponsors a bill regarding an issue they are concerned with. • The bill is introduced in the House or Senate. • The bill is assigned to committee. • The committee chooses whether or not to take action on the bill.
Who to Contact • Senator Carl Levin 202-224-6221, www.levin.senate.gov • Senator Debbie Stabenow 202-224-4822, firstname.lastname@example.org • Congressman Hansen Clarke 202-225-2261, www.hansenclarke.house.gov • Michigan Senator Coleman Young II 517-373-7346, email@example.com • Michigan Representative Maureen Stapleton 517-373-1008, firstname.lastname@example.org • Mayor Dave Bing 313-224-3400, email@example.com