Hemophilia of Georgia Day at the State Capitol
Horizons in Hemophilia, February 2011
On February 3, families with bleeding disorders and HoG staff met at the State Capitol in Atlanta to lobby for funding for medication for the uninsured. The day began with breakfast on the top floor of the Sloppy Floyd building. Mike J. and his son John were the featured speakers and shared how hemophilia had affected their lives. They were joined at the breakfast by their state senator, Jesse Stone.
After breakfast, the group went to the House Gallery in the Capitol to watch the morning session of the House of Representatives. Representative Harry Geisinger introduced House Resolution 74 proclaiming February 3, 2011, as "Hemophilia of Georgia Day" at the Capitol. Representative Geisinger represents the Roswell district where the Hemophilia of Georgia office is located.
Representative Rusty Kidd from Milledgeville spoke in favor of the resolution, praising the Georgia bleeding disorder community for their efforts in improving the lives of people affected by hemophilia, von Willebrand Disease, and other conditions. Before being elected to the General Assembly, Rusty Kidd served as Hemophilia of Georgia's lobbyist for many years.
The families went outside the House and Senate chambers and sent notes to their elected officials to come and speak with them. The families asked the representatives and senators to support funding for medication for uninsured people with bleeding disorders. The General Assembly has provided this funding in the state budget since 1973. The governor has proposed budgets that would reduce the amount of money available to buy factor concentrate and pay insurance premiums.
The families' efforts appear to have been successful. Later in the day Stan Jones and Helen Sloat, HoG's lobbyists, and I met with the House and Senate leadership on the budget. All of them expressed support for restoring money to the program for the uninsured. Several had heard from constituents with bleeding disorders about the issue.
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