Fight Sequestration


Congressman Pete Sessions (R-TX) and 123 House colleagues sent a letter to CMS asking for answers to specific questions about the agency's application of the sequester to the underlying cost of cancer drugs. Unfortunately, CMS has yet sent any response.

If you want to stop the sequester cut to cancer drugs, you need to deliver a simple message to your Representatives: COSPONSOR H.R. 1416 for CANCER CARE.

That is, COSPONSOR Congresswoman Ellmer's bill, H.R. 1416, the Cancer Patient Protection Act of 2013. It is that simple. Any Representative supporting cancer care will COSPONSOR. H.R. 1416 instructs CMS to stop the application of the sequester cut to cancer drugs and other drugs covered under Medicare Part B.

Reach out to all of the Representatives covered by your practice, including where you have clinics and from where you treat patients. Members of the practice team need to contact members of the House and their staff, starting with the health legislative staff. It is important they understand the issues.

Here are some helpful materials to deliver a simple message: COSPONSOR H.R. 1416 for CANCER CARE.

Click here to access the Cancer Patient Protection Act, H.R. 1416

Click here to access a one-page background on the sequester cut to cancer drugs. You can use this as talking points and to actually send to members and staff.

Click here to access a list of health legislative staff and their phone numbers and email addresses.

Click here to access the Sessions et al letter that was sent to CMS to see who signed.

If you want to look up who the Representative is for a certain zip code, click here on the COA Legislative Action Center

Suggestions for Asking Representatives to COSPONSOR H.R. 1416 for CANCER CARE

  • If you have a good contact in the office, either the member directly or a staff person, contact them. Use the talking points.
  • It is very important to educate the health legislative staff. Contact them for a time to talk. Click here for an email template that you can customize. Use the list above to find the email address of each staffer. Remember to attach the one-pager provided above.
  • Don't inundate the health staff with calls and emails -- educate them and strike up a relationship. They are there to help.
  • Start with the DC offices but it is always a good idea to reach out to the local offices of your Representatives.

Involving the Community in Outreach to Representatives

If you want to involve your, staff, patients, and the entire community in general outreach to their Representatives, we have worked with members of the community to develop simple guidance.

Click here for information to provide all to make general calls into the offices of their Representatives to ask them to COSPONSOR H.R. 1416 for CANCER CARE.

Other Things Everyone Can Do

1)     Write an article or OpEd (opinion editorial) in your local newspaper. 

Raise awareness of the impact of sequestration on cancer care in your community by writing an article or OpEd and submitting to your local newspaper.  Contact Anita Weismann at with Chase Communications for assistance.  Remember, a single OpEd with 10 physicians listed is more effective than 10 OpEds with a single physician listed.

For Patients/Caregivers/Survivors and Staff

1)    Call the Offices of Senators and Representatives.

Click here to download a letter in Word that you can customize and send to patients and others informing them of the issue. Click here for talking points for them that you can customize with the contact information of their Senators and Representatives. You can send these to patients and/or hand out in your practice. Clinics are already doing both.

Other Resources

1)    National Patient Advocacy Foundation (NPAF) Stop Cancer Care Cuts Site

NPAF has put up a very helpful resource at that can be used to generate letters to members of Congress. This can supplement calls that should also be made to congressional offices.  

2)    Community Letters to the Senate and House

Click here to access the joint letter to HHS/CMS, here for the Senate letter, and here for the House letter that ASCO, ION, US Oncology, and COA sent to Congress about the problem and the solution. 

3)    Oncology Survey on Sequestration Impact

Click here to access the survey that COA fielded and was completed by 326 cancer treatment facilities.

4)    COA Sequester Impact on Cancer Treatments - Drugs Only

Click here to determine the impact of the sequester on your formulary. This model uses drug expense and the Medicare sequester cuts to drug payment.

5)    COA Medicare Sequester Model

Click here for a model of how the Medicare sequestration cuts will impact all of your service lines.

CONTACT Ted Okon ( with any questions, issues, or problems with this guidance or materials.


Community Oncology Alliance
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(202) 756-2258