Ask Candidates the Right Questions to Inform Your Decisions

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation believes in empowering our community to advocate for the needs of people with cystic fibrosis. During an election cycle, it's important to ask questions of candidates to understand how their positions would impact the CF community.

5 min read
Summary
  • During an election cycle, it's important to evaluate both state and federal candidates and their positions on health care issues through the lens of how it would impact people with cystic fibrosis and their families.
  • Our policy priorities can serve as a conversation guide for advocates when learning about candidates and how their positions on health care might impact you.
  • Use our list of questions to engage with your candidates, get to know them, and how their proposals might impact you and your family.

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation encourages community members to consider policies through the lens of how they would impact people with cystic fibrosis and their families. During an election cycle, it's important to evaluate candidates and their positions on health care issues through a similar lens. The CF Foundation's policy priorities can serve as a conversation guide for advocates when learning about candidates and how their positions may impact the CF community. Knowing where candidates stand on health care issues can result in a more informed CF community during elections.

We have provided a list of suggested questions, based on our policy priorities, to ask candidates during an election season.

  1. Under current law, insurers can't place lifetime and annual caps on care, charge people with pre-existing conditions more for their coverage, or deny coverage altogether. These protections have been critical to ensuring people with CF can purchase affordable insurance that meets their complex needs.
  2. Do you support retaining important protections for people with pre-existing conditions, such as prohibitions on lifetime or annual coverage caps?
    • Do you support retaining protections that prevent insurers from charging someone more for his or her insurance simply because he or she has a pre-existing condition?
    • Do you support retaining protections that prevent insurers from excluding certain health services because of pre-existing conditions, such as prescription drugs or mental health care?
  3. Policies that undermine the individual insurance marketplace will result in a market for healthy people and a market for people with pre-existing conditions who need comprehensive coverage, driving up the cost of coverage for people with CF.
  4. How will you ensure that the individual insurance market meets the needs of people with pre-existing conditions, like CF, and offers affordable plans that cover the specialty care someone with cystic fibrosis needs?
  5. Medicaid provides health coverage and fills critical gaps for half of all children and one-third of adults living with CF. Cuts to Medicaid funding, including through the implementation of block grants or per capita caps, limit states' abilities to keep pace with providing access to groundbreaking, lifesaving treatments.
    • Do you support a strong Medicaid program that provides health care to those who need it?
    • Do you oppose capping or cutting Medicaid funding?     
  6. Despite the advances in CF research, there is still much more work to be done to understand the disease and discover treatments for all people with CF.
    • What is your position on additional funding to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for groundbreaking research?
    • What is your position on policies that accelerate drug review and approval while maintaining strong standards for approving potential treatments?
  7. People with CF face a heightened, life-long risk of infections, and many battle difficult-to-treat infections for which there are no effective antibiotics available. Although more and more pharmaceutical companies are investing in the research and development of antibiotics, more action is needed to combat the growing and urgent threat of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
    • What steps should the government take to promote a robust, sustainable pipeline of antibiotics?
  8. As schools and workplaces begin to reopen, people with CF and their families must be able to access job-protected paid leave that enables them to remain safely at home for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Do you support expanding eligibility for paid family and medical leave to individuals at possible high risk for adverse complications from COVID-19 and working members of their households for the duration of the pandemic?
  9. Telehealth has become an essential tool to enable people living with cystic fibrosis to access timely and safe care during the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to the public health emergency, federal and state agencies have provided new, and in some cases time-limited, flexibilities to increase access to telehealth. Telehealth can and should be used to increase access to care so that all people with CF can continue to safely access appropriate telehealth services during and after the COVID-19 crisis.
    • Do you support policies that expand coverage of essential telehealth services for all health plans and payers?

Note: It is important to remember, when identifying yourself at non-Cystic Fibrosis Foundation events, to make it clear to your audience that you are speaking in your individual capacity and not as a representative of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. For more information about our policy positions or engaging with candidates, email publicpolicy@cff.org.

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Topics
Advocacy | Health Care Reform | Public Policy
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