New York, NY, September 17, 2009 --(PR.com
)-- At this pivotal time in our nation’s health care debate, the Lupus Research Institute (LRI) National Coalition held an advocacy day at the U.S. Capitol to raise awareness among members of Congress of the health care needs of those suffering from lupus.
“It is critical that we are in D.C. now to make sure that the 1.5 million Americans with lupus have a voice in the health care discussions. Lupus is a chronic and debilitating autoimmune disease,” said Margaret G. Dowd, president of the LRI. “It is essential for lupus patients that health care reform legislation provide access to coverage along with maximum flexibility in treating the wide range of lupus symptoms. The health care system must offer patients and providers the ability to manage the disease, along with education on its diagnosis and treatment.”
Members of the LRI National Coalition, which has deep roots in the nation’s major urban centers, converged on the halls of Congress to meet with their representatives and urge them to support the following essential principles in the development of final legislation:
• Coverage should be made available to all Americans, regardless of pre-existing conditions.
• Lifetime caps on health benefits should be eliminated.
• Provisions should be included that are dedicated to prevention and wellness, geared toward education for those with and at risk for chronic diseases, and designed to provide information on how best to manage and prevent these diseases.
• The legislative approach should work to eliminate racial disparities in chronic diseases such as lupus, which disproportionately affects minorities.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) or lupus, one of the nation’s least recognized major diseases, is a chronic and potentially fatal autoimmune disorder that affects more than 1.5 million Americans, primarily women in their childbearing years. In lupus, the body’s immune system forms antibodies that can attack virtually any healthy organ or tissue, from the kidneys to the brain, heart, lungs, skin, joints and blood. No new treatments for lupus have been approved in almost 50 years and many currently used treatments are as toxic as the disease itself. Lupus is a leading cause of premature cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and stroke among young women.
About the Lupus Research Institute
Pioneering discovery to prevent, treat and cure lupus The Lupus Research Institute (LRI)—the world’s leading private supporter of innovative research in lupus—champions innovation, encourages scientific creativity and risks exploring uncharted territory to bring new scientific solutions to the complex and dangerous autoimmune disease of lupus. Founded by families and shaped by scientists, the Institute mandates sound science and rigorous peer review to uncover and support only the highest ranked novel research. Its bold and proven research strategy places the LRI at the forefront of lupus science as the Institute consistently achieves the breakthrough discoveries, novel insights and solid results that are changing the course of lupus research and bringing new hope to people with lupus nationwide. To learn more about lupus and the Lupus Research Institute, visit www.LupusResearchInstitute.org