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Update from the Parkinson's Action Network

Friday January 16, 2015

Dear Northwest Parkinson's Community,

On January 6, members of the 114th Congress were officially sworn in, and the House and Senate opened their legislative sessions for the year. In various media reports, articles, and blogs, you may have seen a lot of speculation about the new Republican majority and even concern about the potential for increased partisan gridlock.

Some of that may be true, and it's kind of the 'palace intrigue' of American politics these days, but I see something a little different.

To me, the incoming Congress represents new opportunities to advance critical priorities for the Parkinson's community. We will find new connections and new champions who care deeply about people with Parkinson's disease and we'll work with them to our goals.  

Already, we’ve seen the introduction of an important piece of legislation known as the Advancing Research for Neurological Diseases Act of 2015. The bill is important for the Parkinson’s community as it calls for a national data collection system for neurological disorders. This information will help the research community work toward better treatments and breakthroughs. We are encouraged by this progress and hope to see similar efforts through the 21st Century Cures Initiative, spearheaded by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) and Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) – both of whom are also longtime members of the Congressional Caucus on Parkinson’s Disease. 

PAN will also be engaged in a renewed fight to permanently repeal the Medicare therapy caps, arbitrary limits on therapy services, as Congress considers reforming the way that Medicare pays doctors.

We’ll also continue to push for more robust research funding at the National Institutes of Health and the Department of Defense Parkinson's research program and advocate for the resources necessary to have an effective and efficient Food and Drug Administration. Finally, we will continue to work to ensure that people with Parkinson's have access to the best care possible.

While PAN starts engaging with Congress on a variety of issues, don’t miss any opportunity to join us by signing up to receive PAN’s emails and Action Alerts.

And if you aren’t familiar with your Members of Congress, visit PAN’s congressional directory to find out who they are and how to contact them. For those who live in the Northwest region, here are a few new names you should get to know:

Yes, there will be challenges, new relationships to cultivate, and unforeseen issues that may threaten to complicate progress. But, we look forward to navigating this new landscape with you and always with the goal in mind of improving the lives of people with Parkinson's and their families.

Let us seek out and pursue these new opportunities as one, unified community – and let that work begin right now.

Thank you for your continued support. Working together, I know we're going to continue to get things done!

Sincerely,
Ted Thompson Sig
Ted Thompson
Chief Executive Officer, Parkinson's Action Network

 

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