What is the Congressional COPD Caucus?

4 Comments   |   
Like 10 Likes

The COPD Caucus and advocacyTracie Sullivan, Grassroots Advocacy Manager at the COPD Foundation, manages the COPD State Advocacy Program. The grassroots initiative encourages everyone in the COPD community – patients, caregivers, health care providers, and students – to come together to lobby on behalf of the 30 million Americans living with the disease. Tracie talks about her experiences in community organizing and shares how you can become a COPD State Advocacy Captain.

In my first community organizing position, I would often walk around with a tiny notebook to write down unfamiliar vocabulary words. Words like “appropriations”, “omnibus”, “reauthorization”, and “majority whip leader” left me trying to figure out what on earth people were talking about.

The Congressional COPD Caucus is one of those terms that I feel now is often discussed, but never fully explained, and leaves many lingering questions for advocates. For example, why is the Congressional COPD Caucus important? And why should we care?

The Congressional COPD Caucus is made up of a democratic and republican group of supportive U.S. Senators and House members with the goal to unify the advocacy voice of the COPD community and endorse legislation that creates positive national COPD policy. Although the caucus cannot pass bills, they are a powerful voice on the hill, and can help spread awareness about COPD, and educate their colleagues about COPD policies that could help patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals. In the past, the Congressional COPD Caucus has listened to the COPD community and helped to support new federal regulations to ease air travel for those with supplemental oxygen and helped pass legislation to make pulmonary rehabilitation a permanent benefit for Medicare beneficiaries. Right now, the caucus members are working on carrying out the goals of the COPD National Action Plan.

Caucus members need to hear from you about what COPD issues are important to you! Your voice matters, and you are the expert! When members hear from their community members about top COPD concerns, they can act on your behalf by advocating on the Hill.

Want COPD issues that are important to you to be heard on the national level? Ask your U.S. Senator or House member to join the Congressional COPD Caucus today by sending them a prewritten email here through our COPD Action Center. The more members we have on the Caucus, the stronger the COPD community will be!

4 Comments



You need to login to comment.
  • Great article, Tracie! It is so important to have more members of Congress become educated about COPD, and the best way for them to do that is to get involve with the Congressional COPD Caucus and to hear from their constituents.
    Reply
  • This is a great article Tracie. Maybe it would help to list what members of the House and Senate are currently in the COPD Caucus. People would know if their representatives are already allies.
    Reply
    • 15th Congress COPD Caucus Members:

      http://www.uscopdcoalition.org/CaucusAdvocacy.aspx

      Reply
  • Thank you Tracie for this article, I didn't know who or what this was about, I will do all I can to get the word out and get as many as possible on board,,
    Reply

Join Us on COPD360social

Sign In to Participate
Or register to become a member