Immunization Action Coalition and the Hepatitis B Coalition

IAC EXPRESS

Previous issues index

Home page

Issue Number 599            May 15, 2006

CONTENTS OF THIS ISSUE

  1. Action needed ASAP: Call your U.S. representative about signing the current immunization appropriations letter by May 18

----------------------------------------------------------

Back to Top

(1 of 1)
May 15, 2006
ACTION NEEDED ASAP: CALL YOUR U.S. REPRESENTATIVE ABOUT SIGNING THE CURRENT IMMUNIZATION APPROPRIATIONS LETTER BY MAY 18

IAC Express editor's note: IAC received the following Action Alert on national immunization funding from The 317 Coalition (http://www.317coalition.org), a network of more than 60 organizations committed to increasing federal discretionary funding for the National Immunization Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), commonly know as "section 317" of the Public Health Service Act.

The federal 317 funds are used to purchase and administer vaccines, usually at local health departments, and for immunization delivery, surveillance, and communication.

Funding of the 317 program has not kept pace with the need to cover the costs for the expanded vaccine recommendations of CDC, AAP, and AAFP over the past 6 years, including recommendations for PCV, influenza, meningococcal, hepatitis A, Tdap, and rotavirus vaccines.

Please read the following Action Alert, then call your representative and ask them to join with their Congressional colleagues by signing on to the letter addressed to Representatives Ralph Regula and David Obey, asking for more financial support for this vital 317 program. The deadline for signing on to the letter is May 18.

********************

ACTION ALERT ON NATIONAL IMMUNIZATION FUNDING: WE NEED YOUR HELP!

Background:
Representatives Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and John Shimkus (R-IL) have sent a "Dear Colleague" letter to every member of the House of Representatives asking them to sign on to a letter to Chairman Regula and Ranking Member Obey of the Labor, Health & Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee [also known as the Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee], to support increased funding for the National Immunization Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention--known as "section 317" of the Public Health Service Act. [To view copies of both the Dear Colleague letter and the letter to Representatives Regula and Obey, go to: http://www.immunize.org/immunizationdearcolleague.pdf]

THE MORE REPRESENTATIVES THAT SIGN ON TO THE LETTER, THE BETTER CHANCE THE 317 PROGRAM WILL RECEIVE INCREASED FUNDING IN THE FY 2007 BUDGET. As of IAC Express press time, the following representatives have signed on:

Rep. Major R. Owens
Rep. Jane Harman
Rep. John Salazar
Rep. Barney Frank
Rep. Michael McNulty
Rep. Gene Green
Rep. Rick Larsen
Rep. Frank Pallone
Rep. Henry Waxman
Rep. Sanford Bishop
Rep. Chris Van Hollen
Rep. Albert Wynn

Action Needed:
(1) Call your Representative in the House and ask them to sign on to the letter to Representatives Regula and Obey by contacting Rep. Hoyer's or Rep. Shimkus's office.

(2) Let them know why increased funding is necessary for your organization in their city or state. Sample talking points are below.

(3) Be sure they know the deadline for Representatives to add their name to the letter is Thursday, May 18.

(4) Feedback: If a Representative's office indicates a willingness to sign the letter, let The 317 Coalition know by emailing them at 317@cgagroup.com so that they can follow up.

Contacting a Congressional Office:
(1) The US Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 can connect you with your Representative. It is best to call the Washington Office, not the local district office. If you don't know who your Representative is, you can go online to http://www.house.gov and look it up by entering your zip code. You should not contact Representatives Hoyer, Shimkus, Regula, or Obey about this letter, since they are the members either sending or receiving the letter.

(2) Ask to speak with the staff person who handles the Health and Human Services Appropriations for the office, specifically the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Your purpose is to ask them to sign on to the letter on CDC immunization funding.

(3) When you reach the staffer, very briefly identify your professional affiliation and work related to immunization.


TALKING POINTS YOU CAN USE IN YOUR CONVERSATION WITH THE STAFFER

(1) I am contacting you to ask that the Congressman/Congresswoman sign on to a letter to Chairman Regula and Ranking Member Obey of the Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee, that is currently being circulated by Representatives Shimkus and Hoyer.

(2) The letter simply asks for "an increase" in funding for the CDC immunization program so that more underinsured children and adults can receive recommended vaccinations.

(3) The letter does not specify a dollar amount being sought, just an increase over last year. The President's budget request would cut the CDC immunization program in the appropriations bill by over $100 million. Currently the program receives about $519 million in federal appropriations.

(4) These 317 funds are awarded to states as grants to purchase recommended childhood and adult vaccines, and provides support for the infrastructure needed to deliver the vaccinations.

(5) The 317 program has received relatively level funding for the past several years, yet additional new vaccines have been recommended. The funding is not keeping pace with the need. Ten states now have to decide which vaccines NOT to offer to underinsured children through this program. These include Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, and Virginia, along with the cities of New York City and San Antonio.

(6) IAC Express readers: Add a sentence or two about your geographic location's need for additional CDC immunization funding.

(7) Your office should have received the Dear Colleague letter from Representatives Shimkus and Hoyer. It was sent out Wednesday, May 10. The closing date for your boss to sign the letter addressed to Representatives Regula and Obey is Thursday, May 18, 2006. I urge you to ask your boss to sign this important letter to the Appropriations Subcommittee.

(8) If you have questions or would like to sign the letter, please contact Stephen Ham in Rep. Hoyer's office at (202) 225-4131 or Mo Zilly in Rep. Shimkus's office at (202) 225-5271.

(9) I am happy to fax or email a copy of the Dear Colleague letter to your office if that would be helpful. [IAC Express readers will find the letter here: http://www.immunize.org/immunizationdearcolleague.pdf]

********************

---------------------------------------------------------------

No part of this issue of IAC Express was produced using government funds. The views expressed here are those of the Immunization Action Coalition and do not represent the official views of any government agency, including agencies of the federal government.

 

Immunization Action Coalition1573 Selby AvenueSt. Paul MN 55104
E-mail: admin@immunize.org Web: http://www.immunize.org/
Tel: (651) 647-9009Fax: (651) 647-9131

This page was updated on May 26, 2006