June 16, 2010

Congress to Hold Hepatitis Hearing this Thursday

Action Alert
(posted June 16, 2010)
Hepatitis C Advocates UNITED! Action Alert
Congress to Hold Hepatitis Hearing this Thursday
Urge Your Representative to Lead the Fight Against the “Secret Epidemic”


On Thursday, June 17, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold a hearing entitled “Viral Hepatitis: The Secret Epidemic.” This hearing, under the leadership of Chairman Edolphus Towns, will examine issues surrounding the prevention, detection, management and control of viral hepatitis.

This hearing provides an excellent opportunity to educate Members of Congress about the hepatitis B and C epidemics and the recommendations made earlier this year on how the federal government must improve its response in the Institute of Medicine (IOM) report, Hepatitis and Liver Cancer: A National Strategy for Prevention and Control of Hepatitis B and C. The hearing also follows a major World Hepatitis Day rally at the U.S. Capitol nearly a month ago. There is growing momentum to demand that Congress fully fund hepatitis programs and take leadership on an issue that impacts millions of Americans.

Please take a few minutes to urge your House Representative to learn about the issues raised in this hearing and to fight for more viral hepatitis leadership!


It is urgent that your calls be made immediately. Please call your Representative’s Washington, DC office. Ask to speak to the staff person who handles health issues. You can call your Representative at 202.225.3121. You will get the Capitol switchboard. Ask to be connected to your Representative’s office. If you don’t know who your Representative is, you can go online to http://www.house.gov/ to determine your Member of Congress. Whether you speak to this person directly or leave a message, tell them:

“My name is ___________ and I am a constituent of Representative ___________. I am calling to let you know about an important hearing this week on Thursday, June 17 at 10:00 AM held by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform entitled “Viral Hepatitis: The Secret Epidemic.” This hearing will focus on the federal government’s response to viral hepatitis; an epidemic that affects over 5 million Americans, most of whom do not know they are infected because they have no symptoms. Viral hepatitis such as hepatitis B and C are the leading causes of liver cancer and cause 15,000 premature deaths each year.

I urge Representative ___________ to support this hearing and to do everything he/she can to fight this silent epidemic, including fighting for increased funding for viral hepatitis programs at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, supporting in any way possible new health reform monies to hepatitis services and co-sponsoring the Viral Hepatitis and Liver Cancer Control and Prevention Act (H.R. 3974). This is important to me because _________________.”

It is especially important to encourage your Representative attend the hearing if he or she is on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform (see membership list below). Urge him/her to attend this important hearing to show leadership!

Committee Members:

Chairman Edolphus Towns (NY)

Paul Kanjorski (PA)

Carolyn Maloney (NY)

Elijah Cummings (MD)

Dennis Kucinich (OH)

John Tierney (MA)

William Lacy Clay (MO)

Diane Watson (CA)

Stephen Lynch (MA)

Jim Cooper (TN)

Gerald Connolly (VA)

Mike Quigley (IL)

Marcy Kaptur (OH)

Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC)

Patrick Kennedy (RI)

Danny Davis (IL)

Chris Van Hollen (MD)

Henry Cuellar (TX)

Paul Hodes (NH)

Christopher Murphy (CT)

Peter Welch (VT)

Bill Foster (IL)

Jackie Speier (CA)

Steve Driehaus (OH)

Judy Chu (CA)


Ranking Member Darrell Issa (CA)

Dan Burton (IN)

John Mica (FL)

John Duncan, Jr. (TN)

Michael Turner (OH)

Lynn Westmoreland (GA)

Patrick McHenry (NC)

Brian Bilbray (CA)

Jim Jordan (OH)

Jeff Flake (AZ)

Jeff Fortenberry (NE)

Jason Chaffetz (UT)

Aaron Schock (IL)

Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO)

Anh “Joseph” Cao (LA)

Hepatitis C Advocates UNITED! is a national, grassroots network of individuals and organizations fighting for increased funding for hepatitis programs and legislation to mount a comprehensive federal effort to fight the disease. We design grassroots strategies to educate our elected representatives about the need for adequate HCV funding and policies, including action alerts, sign-on letters legislative meetings, media activities, and other campaigns. We also share information and strategies on state-level issues and campaigns. Hepatitis C Advocates UNITED! was formed by the Hepatitis Appropriations Partnership (HAP) and the National Hepatitis C Advocacy Council (NHCAC), and the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR). To join the network, send an email to rclary@projectinform.org with “subscribe” in the subject field. Please include your name and city/state in the email.