HomeWashington LetterWashington Letter ▶ ATS LOBBIES CONGRESS (VIRTUALLY!)

This week, ATS members from across the U.S. participated in a Virtual Hill Day to lobby members of Congress on a range of issues impacting lung health. ATS members virtually visited over 30 Congressional offices to request increased funding for the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, support for international TB control and action on Medicare access to supplemental oxygen.

ATS physicians and researchers shared poignant vignettes about patients’ lives who have been transformed through scientific progress and those patients who are still awaiting a medical breakthrough. Congress is just beginning the process of making funding decisions for NIH, CDC and other federal programs so ATS is reaching out to Congress to make sure the research and public health funding remain a high Congressional priority.

ATS members also talked about the need to control TB, domestically and internationally, and asked members of Congress to support legislation to expand CDC’s authority to address international TB control.

During the visit, ATS members also raised awareness on how Medicare reimbursement policy is creating a barrier to appropriate access to supplemental oxygen and how Medicare policy is also adversely impacting access to supplemental oxygen in the private insurance market.

“As a physician and an ATS member, if felt good to be virtually up on Capitol Hill advocating for my patients. It was reassuring to hear the broad bipartisan support that exists for NIH funding, but on issues like TB control and supplemental oxygen, Congressional staff were not quite up to speed. Clearly, the ATS needs to keep working to educate Congress about the real policy challenges that are facing our members and the patients we serve, “ said ATS member and chair of the Health Policy Committee, Stuart Sweet, MD, PhD.

Last Reviewed: March 2023