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How to Influence Public Policy
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Many government regulations, laws and, policies impact women with heart disease. For example, Congress determines if and how much of our federal tax dollars go to fund the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute for medical research on heart disease, and if any of these funds get earmarked for research on women with heart disease. 
• Congress can also spend our tax dollars on the following: 


• Heart disease prevention and education programs
• Programs that increase appropriate public access to heart defibrillators
• Increase timely access to new medical devices and technologies, including prompt assignment of Medicare procedure codes
• Prescription drug coverage for people receiving Medicare
Other federal laws and regulations that are important to our heart health include those that: 
• Discourage smoking
• Promote physical exercise and nutrition education
• Establish food labeling requirements
• Regulate the prescription medicine approval process
As advocates, we must educate ourselves about the origin, nature, and scope of these laws, policies, and regulations, which directly affect the recovery, quality of healthcare, and quality of life of women with heart disease. We also need to become actively involved in shaping these same laws, policies, and regulations. By speaking out publicly, we offer a powerful and credible voice that can’t be ignored. Politicians pay attention to what we have to say because we can explain how their actions personally affect us. Plus, we have no ulterior motives or hidden agendas -- we simply want to recover our health and heal our lives. 


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WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) patient advocacy organization with thousands of members nationwide, including women heart patients and their families, health care providers, advocates and consumers committed to helping women live longer, healthier lives. WomenHeart supports, educates and advocates on behalf of the nearly 48 million American women living with or at risk of heart disease. Our programs are made possible by donations, grants and corporate partnerships.

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WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease is a founding partner of The Heart Truth Red Dress campaign. The Heart Truth and Red Dress are trademarks of HHS.