Flex Your Advocacy Muscles with Us

Join VBCF and fellow volunteer advocates for the 2020 Virginia State Breast Cancer Advocacy Day on Thursday, February 13, 2020. With many newly elected members and Democrats in control for the first time in over two decades, this year’s General Assembly session promises to be a very interesting one!

If you have never been to an advocacy day at the General Assembly before, no worries! Previous experience is not required. Your personal perspective and passion for ending breast cancer are all you need to help make a difference. VBCF will provide you with an orientation and training, as well as background and talking points on the bills we are following. In most cases, you will attend meetings with your local legislator in a group. Experienced volunteer advocates will also be on-hand to help answer questions. Advocacy Day is a great way to meet your elected officials and fellow breast cancer advocates while getting more involved with the policymaking process. 

The Virginia General Assembly session is a “long” one, lasting 60 days this year. Proposed bills are currently working their way through House and Senate committees. By the time State Breast Cancer Advocacy Day arrives, we will have a good sense of which bills are “still alive” and which have “died” in committee. Key legislation related to health care that we are following includes:

Ending surprise medical billing

Too many Virginians are receiving “surprise medical bills” or bills for out-of-network charges that they did not know about and therefore could not avoid. VBCF is especially concerned about this practice given recent research data from the Kaiser Family Foundation showing that 20+% of mastectomy patients have received a surprise bill from an out-of-network provider.  Breast cancer is difficult enough without worrying about extra medical bills. While there is general agreement between the medical provider community and insurance companies that patients should not be receiving surprise bills, a compromise solution for the problem remains elusive. VBCF is monitoring the progress of several bills introduced this session regarding this issue.  

Paid sick days

Approximately 1.2 million workers in Virginia have no paid sick days or paid time off. These workers must often choose between taking care of themselves or getting paid. VBCF believes it is essential for all workers to have paid time off to get needed medical care, including cancer screenings and treatment.  Therefore, we support legislation to create a paid sick day standard in Virginia. 

Limitations on short-term and catastrophic health care plans

Similar to last year, VBCF continues to oppose the expansion of short-term and/or catastrophic health care plans. These types of plans are not required to cover essential health care services, including cancer screenings. Many individuals with these plans who become sick will be unable to afford the care needed to respond to a life-threatening or life-changing diagnosis and will be forced to delay treatment for the months it may take to secure adequate coverage. VBCF supports keeping the age limit for buying catastrophic plans to 30 years of age and limiting the sale of short-term plans to terms of 3 months.

Take Action

Learn more about State Advocacy Day and Register Today!

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