December 1, 2023 (Arlington, VA) – The Bone Health and Osteoporosis Foundation (BHOF) is pleased to announce the 2023 recipients of our national award to recognize Members of Congress who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, advocacy, and commitment to protect and improve the bone health of Americans. The awards are presented annually by BHOF to highlight the importance of bone health and the osteoporosis crisis in the U.S., and the work by national leaders to advance improvements in bone health and osteoporosis policy.
The 2023 Congressional Bone Health Champion Award winners are:
- Senator John Barrasso (R-WY): Senator John Barrasso is a senior member of the Senate Finance Committee. He led a bipartisan letter to the Office of Management and Budget and CMS in support of the BHOF-led effort to improve Medicare payment incentives for model post fracture care. This letter was a crucial sign of bipartisan political support for our efforts.
- Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI): Senator Tammy Baldwin is the Chair of the Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee which included strong report language supporting the BHOF-led effort to improve Medicare payment incentives for model post fracture care as part of the Fiscal Year 2024 appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services. This language was crucial to demonstrate strong Congressional support for this initiative.
- Rep. Susie Lee (D-NV): Representative Susie Lee is the Democratic co-chair of the Bipartisan Women’s Caucus. She has demonstrated strong support for BHOF’s policy agenda and assisted in coordinating a congressional briefing on bone health throughout the lifetime that was held on October 25, 2023.
- Rep. Kat Cammack (R-FL): Representative Kat Cammack is the Republican co-chair of the Congressional Women’s Caucus. She is a leader on women’s health issues and cosponsored BHOF’s congressional briefing on women’s bone health throughout the lifetime held October 25, 2023.
“The importance of bone health and its impact on an individual’s overall health as well as healthcare costs is often overlooked by policymakers,” said Claire Gill, CEO of the Bone Health and Osteoporosis Foundation. “We greatly appreciate these Congressional champions who have taken steps to shed light on what is a crisis in bone health in the United States. We know what needs to be done to address this crisis. There are simple steps Congress and the Biden Administration can take that would greatly improve the care of millions of Americans with osteoporosis.”
Osteoporosis is a growing yet often ignored healthcare problem that disproportionately impacts women. Ten millionAmericans have osteoporosis and 44 million are at high risk of the disease due to low bone density. According to a 2021 report, two million Medicare beneficiaries (about 70 percent women) suffered up to 2.1 million osteoporotic bone fractures in 2016. For women, the risk of any osteoporotic fracture is greater than their risk of a heart attack, stroke or breast cancer combined. The total annual cost for osteoporotic fractures among Medicare beneficiaries was $57 billion in 2018 and is expected to grow to over $95 billion in 2040 without reforms, as the population ages.
About the Bone Health and Osteoporosis Foundation
The Bone Health and Osteoporosis Foundation, formerly the National Osteoporosis Foundation, is the leading health organization dedicated to preventing osteoporosis and broken bones, promoting strong bones for life, and reducing human suffering through programs of public and clinician awareness, education, advocacy and research. Established in 1984, BHOF is the nation’s largest health organization dedicated to osteoporosis and bone health.