Representative Michele Bachmann Casts Light on the Neglected Burden of Migraine in America:
Thanks to everyone who attended Headache on the Hill in June.
To date, the AHDA has organized three Headache on the Hill events:
- September, 2007: 45 participants from 29 states visited 136 Congressional offices.
- February, 2009: 35 participants from 27 states visited 127 Congressional offices.
- February, 2010: 52 participants from 35 states visited 144 Congressional offices.
The next Headache on the Hill event is scheduled for May 31 and June 1, 2011.
For more about what the AHDA has accomplished, please see our February 2011 ADHA Overview.
We’re pleased to update you on the interim progress of 2010 AHDA legislative efforts.
As previously mentioned, 2009 AHDA efforts led to report language regarding headache disorders that was included in the fiscal year 2010 House appropriations bill (see report language). This report language specifically requested that NIH send a report on their progress towards defining Headache Disorders Research Benchmarks to the Committees on Appropriations. The NIH report that resulted from this congressional request outlined the NIH programs that have been available over the past several years for headache researchers, as well as the steps NIH has taken to organize the major research planning meeting which ultimately took place in Bethesda, MD on May 16th and 17th.
We’re delighted to announce that the second Headache on the Hill (HOH) advocacy event will be held in Washington, DC on Monday, February 23rd and Tuesday, February 24th 2009. We hope that you can make this event.
The long-term goal of the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy is to provide equitable NIH funding for research on headache disorders. You might ask, why bother going to Congress now, when the prospects for increased discretionary spending appear to be so dim? First of all, we intend to make specific programmatic requests of Congress during HOH that should have lasting benefits but that will require relatively modest short-term increases in NIH expenditures. Secondly, this spring is a unique advocacy opportunity: the “honeymoon” of a new Democratic President and a Democratic Congress promises action on a broad legislative agenda. Continue reading
An open meeting of the people interested in the AHDA was held on Friday June 27, 2008 at 10:30 a.m., during the 50th Annual Scientific meeting of the American Headache Society in Boston.
Also at 50th Annual Scientific meeting of the American Headache Society, a letter from Michael O. Leavitt, Secretary of Health and Human Services was presented. This letter celebrated the 50th anniversary of the AHS and the 15th anniversary of MAGNUM. Leavitt also applauded the efforts of the AHDA.
Update on AHDA advocacy efforts:
- Our proposed congressional appropriations report language* is due to be discussed (“marked up”) later this month in the L-HHS Subcommittees of the Senate and House Appropriations Committees. 12 Representatives and 2 Senators made specific written requests to the L-HHS Subcommittees to include our language in the appropriations reports. While such inclusion would not carry the weight and force of law, it would provide NIH with the sentiment of Congress on this issue and we are told would be taken very seriously by NIH. We are very optimistic that our language, in whole or in part, will be included in the reports.
- To date, over 800 grassroots activists, representing > 75% of congressional districts nationwide, have signed-up at the AHDA website to participate in our advocacy efforts. Their emails this spring were instrumental in obtaining congressional support for our report language.
- The AHDA is now incorporated in Vermont. By-laws have been drafted.
As a result of Headache on the Hill activities and AHDA activities, including emails sent by patients and other supporters, 12 members of the House sent a “Dear Colleague” letter to Congressmen David R. Obey and James T. Walsh of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health & Human Services, Education and Related Agencies.
Senators Leahy and Sanders also requested that the Appropriations Committee include the same report language on the Senate side.