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8.12.16 On Friday, August 5, the Chronic Disease Coalition had the honor to present the first Chronic Disease Congressional Champion Award to U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon for his efforts to protect the interests of the chronically ill. Congressman Blumenauer has been an incredible champion for people with chronic health conditions. His Dialysis PATIENT Demonstration Act has real potential to increase the quality of care that kidney patients are receiving, and his tireless efforts in working to get the bill through Congress show a genuine commitment to patient rights. For these reasons we were happy to designate him our Congressional Champion. The award was presented to Kristen Donheffner, Blumenauer’s legislative assistant responsible for health care, who accepted it on his behalf. Also in attendance at the event was Jason Worman, a patient advocate, along with Chronic Disease Coalition Executive Director Scott Bruun and Outreach Director Christian Britschgi. Bruun spoke about issues the Coalition has recently worked with patients on – in particular, the issue of third-party payments from nonprofit organizations that offer financial aid programs for those in need. Insurance companies are increasingly looking for ways to reject payments from charitable groups made on behalf of patients. Worman, himself a recipient of premium assistance from one of these organizations, offered his own personal perspective on how the hurdles thrown up by insurance companies can make life for patients more difficult. On behalf of chronic disease patients, we’re happy to say thanks to Rep. Blumenauer. Chronic disease patients are fortunate to have such a strong advocate for their interests representing them in Congress.