Patients across America are rising up and having their voices heard. The two-day We the Patients Fly-In is the perfect platform to directly engage with members of Congress, learn about the latest policy issues, and most importantly connect, support, and share a voice with patients and caregivers from different backgrounds and experiences. 

This year, Patients Rising Now welcomed patients and caregivers from all over the country from June 12-13, 2023. 

On our first day we were welcomed with in person visits from several members of Congress, including Representative Mariannette Miller-Meeks and Representative Buddy Carter. Patients Rising presented Buddy Carter with a Patient Champion Award for his leadership on PBM issues.

In the evening, we celebrated patients, particularly our champions that go above and beyond. We kicked off that event honoring Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers with a Patient Champion Award for her leadership on the QALY-ban bill

Representative Darrell Issa spoke to patient advocates about his commitment to veterans and his introduction of the bi-partisan, Jax Act.  Jaclyn “Jax” Scott received the Fierce Advocate Award for her leadership on this bill. 

Fierce Advocate Awards were also given to Caryl Harris, co-founder of Avery’s Hope for her leadership in the rare disease community. Keyla Caba was honored for her state advocacy work in Massachusetts. And finally, Michael Riotto was presented with the all around advocate award for his dedication to overall advocacy around access, affordability and transparency issues. 

Representative David Joyce also stopped by and presented Ashtabula Schools and the City of Ashtabula with the Health Plan Hero Award. The is an award Patients Rising gives to employer health plans that are imporving care access and lowering out of pocket costs for patients. 

Before advocates boarded the bus for their day on the Hill, Chairman Brett Guthrie stopped by breakfast and spoke about the importance of price transparency in healthcare. 

Eleven teams of patient advocates met with more than 55 congressional offices in the House and the Senate. Members of Congress and their staff listened to patient and caregiver stories and learned about the importance of banning the discriminatory Quality-Adjusted-Life-Year across the federal government, putting Pharmacy Benefit Managers in the sunlight so drug discounts are going to the patient, and banning co-pay accumulators, which are adding to the medical and financial burden of many Americans.  

After this year’s success, Patients Rising Now introduced We the Patients Week on the Capitol in 2024. We look forward to welcoming back more patients and caregivers to inspire all lawmakers to center healthcare decision-making around the patient. 

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