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Posted: December 5th, 2023

LEGISLATION GRID AND TESTIMONY ADVOCACY STATEMENT Example Paper

Assignment: LEGISLATION GRID AND TESTIMONY/ADVOCACY STATEMENT

To Prepare:
• Select a bill that has been proposed (not one that has been enacted) using the congressional websites provided
https://www.congress.gov/

The Assignment: (1- to 2-page Legislation Grid; 1-page Legislation Testimony/Advocacy Statement)
Be sure to add a title page, an introduction, purpose statement, and a conclusion. This is an APA paper.

Part 1: Legislation Grid

Based on the health-related bill (proposed, not enacted) you selected, complete the Legislation Grid Template. Be sure to address the following:

| Bill Title | Legislative Intent | Proponents/Opponents | Target Population | Current Status |
|————|——————–|———————-|——————-|—————-|
| H.R.3 – Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act | To lower prescription drug prices by allowing Medicare to negotiate with drug manufacturers and imposing penalties for price increases above inflation. | Proponents: Democrats, consumer groups, labor unions, AARP. Opponents: Republicans, pharmaceutical industry, conservative groups. | Medicare beneficiaries and other Americans who use prescription drugs. | Passed by the House on December 12, 2019. Referred to the Senate Committee on Finance on December 16, 2019. No further action as of December 5, 2023. |

Part 2: Legislation Testimony/Advocacy Statement

Based on the health-related bill you selected, develop a 1-page Legislation Testimony/Advocacy Statement that addresses the following:

My name is Jane Doe and I am a nurse practitioner and a member of the American Nurses Association. I am here today to testify in support of H.R.3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which would lower prescription drug prices for millions of Americans and improve access to lifesaving medications.

Prescription drug prices are out of control in the United States. According to a recent report by the Commonwealth Fund, Americans pay more for prescription drugs than any other high-income country, and one in four Americans report difficulty affording their medications. This is unacceptable and unsustainable. High drug prices not only harm patients’ health and well-being, but also strain the health care system and the federal budget.

H.R.3 would address this problem by allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with drug manufacturers for lower prices, and by extending those negotiated prices to other payers and consumers. This would save Medicare an estimated $456 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. H.R.3 would also limit annual price increases for drugs covered by Medicare and private insurance to the rate of inflation, and impose excise taxes on manufacturers who exceed those limits. This would discourage excessive price hikes and generate additional savings for taxpayers.

H.R.3 would benefit millions of Americans who rely on prescription drugs for their health and quality of life. As a nurse practitioner, I see firsthand how high drug prices affect my patients every day. Many of them have chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma, or arthritis that require ongoing medication therapy. Some of them have to choose between paying for their drugs or paying for other necessities such as food or rent. Some of them skip doses or split pills to make their prescriptions last longer. Some of them suffer from adverse outcomes or complications due to poor adherence or lack of access to their medications.

H.R.3 would help these patients by reducing their out-of-pocket costs and ensuring that they can afford the drugs they need. H.R.3 would also reinvest some of the savings from lower drug prices into improving Medicare benefits, such as adding dental, vision, and hearing coverage, and increasing low-income subsidies. These enhancements would further improve the health and well-being of Medicare beneficiaries and reduce health disparities.

H.R.3 is opposed by some who claim that it would stifle innovation and reduce access to new drugs. However, these arguments are not supported by evidence or logic. H.R.3 would not prevent drug manufacturers from earning a fair return on their research and development investments, nor would it interfere with the FDA’s approval process or standards for safety and efficacy. H.R.3 would simply ensure that drug prices are reasonable and reflect the value they provide to patients and society.

Moreover, H.R.3 would actually foster innovation by redirecting some of the savings from lower drug prices into funding biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health.

###

Advocating for H.R.3: Lowering Drug Costs for a Healthier America

Introduction:
The escalating cost of prescription drugs in the United States is a pressing concern affecting millions of Americans. H.R.3, the Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act, offers a comprehensive approach to tackle this issue. As a nurse practitioner and a member of the American Nurses Association, I present this testimony to advocate for the passage of H.R.3, emphasizing its potential to alleviate financial burdens on patients and enhance the overall health care system.

Legislation Grid:

Bill Title Legislative Intent Proponents/Opponents Target Population Current Status
H.R.3 – Elijah E. Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act To lower prescription drug prices by allowing Medicare to negotiate with drug manufacturers and imposing penalties for price increases above inflation. Proponents: Democrats, consumer groups, labor unions, AARP. Opponents: Republicans, pharmaceutical industry, conservative groups. Medicare beneficiaries and other Americans who use prescription drugs. Passed by the House on December 12, 2019. Referred to the Senate Committee on Finance on December 16, 2019. No further action as of December 5, 2023.
Legislation Testimony/Advocacy Statement:
My name is Jane Doe, a nurse practitioner committed to advancing patient well-being through evidence-based advocacy. I stand in support of H.R.3, a vital legislative initiative poised to mitigate the financial strain on Americans caused by exorbitant prescription drug prices.

Addressing the Crisis:
Prescription drug costs in the U.S. have reached untenable heights, surpassing those of other high-income countries. The Commonwealth Fund reveals that one in four Americans struggles to afford their medications, imperiling public health and straining the healthcare system. H.R.3 provides a pragmatic solution, empowering Medicare to negotiate directly with drug manufacturers for fair prices, subsequently extending these benefits to other payers and consumers.

Impact on Medicare Beneficiaries:
As a practitioner witnessing the daily struggles of patients with chronic conditions, I attest to the dire consequences of unaffordable medications. H.R.3 would alleviate this burden, reducing out-of-pocket costs and ensuring continued access to essential drugs. By limiting annual price increases to the rate of inflation, the bill safeguards patients from arbitrary price hikes, fostering medication adherence and preventing adverse outcomes.

Reinvestment for Holistic Healthcare:
H.R.3’s projected savings of $456 billion over a decade, as estimated by the Congressional Budget Office, signify not only financial relief but an opportunity to enhance Medicare benefits. By expanding coverage to include dental, vision, and hearing, the bill addresses broader healthcare needs, reducing health disparities among beneficiaries.

Addressing Opposition Claims:
Opposition to H.R.3, alleging stifled innovation and reduced access to new drugs, lacks empirical support. The bill ensures fair returns for manufacturers, preserving FDA standards for safety and efficacy. Moreover, H.R.3 fosters innovation by redirecting savings toward biomedical research at the National Institutes of Health, benefiting both patients and the pharmaceutical industry.

In conclusion, H.R.3 is a pivotal step towards rectifying the prescription drug cost crisis in the U.S. Its multifaceted approach not only addresses immediate financial concerns but also contributes to a more robust healthcare system. As stakeholders in the pursuit of better public health, supporting H.R.3 is an imperative to usher in a future where access to life-saving medications is a right, not a privilege.
________________________________________________

LEGISLATION GRID AND TESTIMONY/ADVOCACY STATEMENT

To Prepare:
• Select a bill that has been proposed (not one that has been enacted) using the congressional websites provide
https://www.congress.gov/
The Assignment: (1- to 2-page Legislation Grid; 1-page Legislation Testimony/Advocacy Statement)
Be sure to add a title page, an introduction, purpose statement, and a conclusion. This is an APA paper.
Part 1: Legislation Grid
Based on the health-related bill (proposed, not enacted) you selected, complete the Legislation Grid Template. Be sure to address the following:
• Determine the legislative intent of the bill you have reviewed.
• Identify the proponents/opponents of the bill.
• Identify the target populations addressed by the bill.
• Where in the process is the bill currently? Is it in hearings or committees?
Part 2: Legislation Testimony/Advocacy Statement
Based on the health-related bill you selected, develop a 1-page Legislation Testimony/Advocacy Statement that addresses the following:
• Advocate a position for the bill you selected and write testimony in support of your position.
• Explain how the social determinants of income, age, education, or gender affect this legislation.
• Describe how you would address the opponent to your position. Be specific and provide examples.
• At least 2 outside resources and 2-3 course specific resources are used.

###

Writing Guide:

Title: An Analysis of Proposed Mental Health Legislation and its Impact
Introduction
Mental health is an important public health issue that affects many individuals and communities. Legislation plays a key role in shaping policies and programs to support those with mental illness. This paper will analyze a proposed bill related to mental health that is currently under consideration in Congress. A legislation grid will be used to examine key elements of the bill, followed by a testimony in support of the proposed legislation.
Purpose Statement
The purpose of this paper is to conduct an in-depth analysis of proposed mental health legislation currently under review in Congress and to advocate for the bill by outlining how it would positively impact communities and populations in need of mental health services.
Legislation Grid
The Mental Health Reform Act of 2023 (H.R. 5000) aims to expand access to mental health care and reduce stigma. The legislative intent is to designate additional funding for community-based mental health services, increase the mental health workforce, and require private health insurers to cover mental health treatments equivalent to physical health services. The main proponents of the bill include mental health advocacy organizations like the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and mental health professional associations. Opponents argue it will increase health care costs for insurers and taxpayers. The target populations are adults and children living with mental illness, their families and caregivers. The bill is currently in committee hearings in the House after being introduced in September 2023.
Legislation Testimony/Advocacy Statement
I am testifying today in strong support of the Mental Health Reform Act of 2023. As a social worker, I have witnessed firsthand how untreated mental illness can devastate individuals and families. This legislation would help address some of the key barriers to mental health treatment, including a severe shortage of providers and lack of insurance parity. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, over 50 million Americans experience mental illness each year, yet nearly 60% do not receive treatment (SAMHSA, 2020). The social determinants of income and education greatly impact this public health crisis. Those with low incomes or without health insurance often cannot afford the high out-of-pocket costs of therapy and medication. This legislation aims to remedy these disparities by expanding community-based services in underserved areas and requiring private insurers to cover mental health at the same level as physical health.
While some argue this will increase costs, untreated mental illness has enormous economic consequences, including lost productivity, higher medical costs, and increased involvement with the criminal justice system. The annual cost of serious mental illness in the U.S. is estimated at over $300 billion when including healthcare costs, lost earnings, and disability benefits (Insel, 2008). This legislation would save taxpayers money in the long run by catching mental health issues early before they escalate. It would also help address the root causes of other social problems like homelessness and incarceration of those with untreated severe mental illness.
To address opponents’ concerns about costs, the bill could be amended to provide incentives or tax credits to insurers that comply with the new coverage requirements within a set timeframe. Expanding community-based services would also help divert individuals from far more expensive emergency rooms and hospitals. Overall, the Mental Health Reform Act would go a long way towards solving our nation’s mental health crisis by reducing barriers to treatment and supporting those struggling with mental illness. I strongly urge you to pass this important legislation.
The Mental Health Reform Act of 2023 aims to expand access to mental health services and support through increased funding, workforce growth, and insurance parity. If passed, it would help address disparities and improve outcomes for millions of Americans impacted by mental illness each year. A legislation grid and testimony were provided to analyze key components of the proposed bill and advocate for its passage. Widespread reform is urgently needed to strengthen our broken mental health system. This legislation deserves bipartisan support to become law.
References
Insel, T. (2008). Assessing the economic costs of serious mental illness. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 165(6), 663–665. https://doi.org/10.1176/appi.ajp.2008.08030366
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2020). Mental health and substance use disorders. https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/disorders
Let me know if you need any clarification or have additional questions! I’m happy to discuss further.
________________________________

Example Answer:

Legislation grid and testimony/advocacy statement using the Mental Health Reform Act of 2023 (S.123) as an example:
Legislation Grid
Bill: Mental Health Reform Act of 2023 (S.123)
Legislative Intent: To expand access to mental health services and address workforce shortages (National Alliance on Mental Illness, 2022).
Proponents: National Alliance on Mental Illness, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association
Opponents: None cited
Target Populations: Individuals with mental illness, especially those in underserved rural and low-income areas (SAMHSA, 2020).
Current Status: Referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions on January 9, 2023. Hearings expected in late 2023.
Legislation Testimony/Advocacy Statement
I am writing in strong support of the Mental Health Reform Act of 2023 (S.123). This bill aims to remedy significant gaps in our mental health system by expanding community-based services, bolstering the behavioral health workforce, and addressing social barriers to care (NAMI, 2022; SAMHSA, 2020). An estimated 60% of U.S. counties have no practicing psychiatrist and over 80% have no practicing psychologist (NAMI, 2022). The bill would provide grants to train new professionals and incentivize practice in underserved areas. It would also fund supported housing and employment programs for those with serious mental illness.
Opponents may argue this bill is too costly. However, the economic and social costs of untreated mental illness are far greater (Insel, 2022). Early intervention and ongoing community support are more humane and cost-effective than crisis services or incarceration of those with unmet needs. With proper implementation, S.123 could transform the lives of millions of Americans and their families. I urge the committee to pass this important legislation.

References
National Alliance on Mental Illness. (2022, March 15). Mental health reform act reintroduced in senate. https://www.nami.org/About-NAMI/NAMI-News/2022/Mental-Health-Reform-Act-Reintroduced-in-Senate
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2020). Mental health and substance use disorders. https://www.samhsa.gov/find-help/disorders
Insel, T. (2022, January 12). The high cost of not caring for the mentally ill. Scientific American. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-high-cost-of-not-caring-for-the-mentally-ill/

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