On March 23, AASLD held its annual Liver Capitol Hill Day. For the third time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s LCHD was conducted online. Bringing together 45 participants, including AASLD members, patient advocates, Emerging Liver Scholars, and society staff. Participants joined 53 meaningful conversations on AASLD’s priorities with members of Congress and their staff. Specifically, AASLD targeted meetings with members of Congress who are on committees relevant to our legislative “asks.” Conversations with these members focused on the following requests to support and advance liver disease research, treatment, and prevention –
- FY 2023 Appropriations Funding Requests
- Increased funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) by the Biomedical Research and Development Price Index (BRDPI) plus 5%
- $140 million, an increase of $99 million, for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Viral Hepatitis
- Not less than $882 million plus BRDPI for the Veterans’ Affairs (VA) Medical and Prosthetic Research Program
- FY 2023 Labor-HHS Appropriations Report Language Requests
- Universal Hepatitis B Vaccination
- Alcohol-associated liver disease
- Support for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop a department-wide strategic plan to combat liver disease.
In advance of Liver Capitol Hill Day, members of AASLD’s Public Policy Committee worked together to create a liver disease fact sheet on the burden of various liver diseases in the US and the need for increased attention and resources, which was shared with staff in advance of these meetings. Overall, most Hill staff appeared interested and responded positively to AASLD’s requests. Staff and participants have followed up with offices and will continue to remain in touch to reinforce these key messages.