Public Policy Agenda

117th Congress (2021-2022)

The American Lung Association recognizes that influencing public policy—through legislation and regulation—at all levels of government is key to achieving its mission: To save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease.

The American Lung Association policy and advocacy program seeks to change government, corporate and community policies to help translate its mission into reality. The Public Policy Agenda for the 117th Congress identifies major legislative and regulatory issues on which the American Lung Association will take a leadership role to defend and advance the interests of public health. These represent opportunities for the American Lung Association to heighten public awareness, stimulate dialogue and change public policy on issues critical to its mission.

Based on the American Lung Association Public Policy Positions, the Public Policy Agenda is designed to highlight the top priorities for the American Lung Association's federal advocacy efforts.   In addition, the American Lung Association engages robust public policy advocacy at the state and local level.  

Public Policy Agenda for the 117th Congress (2021-2022)

The public policy priorities for the 117th Congress are:

  • Support investments and policies that eliminate health disparities caused by systemic racism; and build health equity across all policy areas;
  • Support coverage of and increase access to guidelines-based lung cancer screening;
  • Increase funding for research, prevention, diagnosis, interventions, treatment and cures for all lung diseases, including asthma, COPD, COVID-19, influenza, lung cancer, pulmonary fibrosis, and tuberculosis;
  • Increase funding for lung-related behavioral and environmental research and research training;
  • Support and defend universal access to quality health care services, including in Medicaid, and give priority to preventive care, appropriate specialty care, patient education and chronic disease management; coverage must be consistent with evidence-based guidelines;
  • Protect and promote barrier-free access to healthcare, including coverage of essential health benefits, and no exclusions for pre-existing conditions or lifetime caps on health insurance;  
  • Increase funding for lung disease surveillance, prevention and wellness, public health infrastructure, and health programs related to the lung;
  • Support robust investments in our nation’s public health infrastructure to address the COVID-19 and future respiratory pandemics, including data collection and surveillance mechanisms, equitable vaccine distribution, sufficient Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and a trained and fully equipped public health workforce;
  • Increase access to and availability of appropriate stationary and portable systems and quantities to ensure that patients who require supplemental oxygen, including liquid oxygen, have both their clinical and quality of life needs met;
  • Implement the Clean Air Act and its health-based National Ambient Air Quality Standards to protect the health of all, including populations most at risk;
  • Increase air monitoring and reduce air pollution from mobile, stationary and area sources, including cars, trucks and diesel engines, oil and gas extraction and refining, power plants, and industry; 
  • Promote federal policies and funding that protect lung health from the impacts of a changing climate;
  • Support federal incentives for and investments in the research, development and demonstration of technologies that reduce public health impacts from the transportation and energy sectors, including fewer lifecycle emissions of air pollutants, including greenhouse gases;
  • Support initiatives and funding to reduce and mitigate exposure to radon in homes, schools and workplaces; 
  • Promote and defend U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulatory authority and action over the manufacture, sale, distribution, labeling, marketing and promotion of all tobacco products including e-cigarettes and cigars; prohibit all flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes.  
  • Increase funding for tobacco control programs, including prevention, education and cessation; and
  • Support and defend comprehensive coverage for tobacco cessation services under Medicaid, Medicare and both public and private insurance, and support health systems change to incorporate tobacco cessation. 

Page last updated: March 2, 2021

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