Arthritis Advocacy Glossary

Brush up on some commonly used terms and phrases you may come across while advocating for causes related to arthritis.

Policy & Advocacy Glossary

ACT: Legislation (a bill or joint resolution) that has passed both chambers of Congress (or a state legislature) in identical form, been signed into law by the president (or the governor), or pass over his/her veto, thus becoming law.  

ADVOCACY: The act or process of advocating or supporting a cause or proposal. 

AFFORDABLE CARE ACT (ACA): A bill that was signed into law in 2010 by President Obama and consists of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. It reformed the American health care system to expand insurance coverage, reduce the cost of care and increase the quality of care. 

AMENDMENT: A proposed change to a pending legislative text (e.g., a bill, resolution or other amendment). 

APPROPRIATION: The provision of funds, through an annual appropriations act or a permanent law, for federal agencies to make payments out of the Treasury for specified purposes. 

AUTHORIZATION: A statutory provision that obligates funding for a program or agency. The formal federal spending process consists of two sequential steps: authorization and appropriation. 

BICAMERAL: Literally, “two chambers” in a legislative body having two houses (as in the House of Representatives and the Senate comprising the U.S. Congress or a state legislature). 

BILL: A draft of a proposed law presented to Congress for consideration. Bills introduced in the House of Representatives begin with H.R., bills introduced in the Senate begin with S., and they are numbered in the order they are filed. State bills may begin with H.B. or S.B. depending on the state. Typically, federal bills are given hearings in their committees of jurisdiction, then they are “marked-up” by the committees of jurisdiction before being placed on the calendar for a floor vote. 

CLOTURE: The method by which a supermajority (typically, three-fifths) of the U.S. Senate may agree to limit further debate and consideration of a question (e.g., a bill, amendment or other matters). 

COMMENT LETTER: A formal letter to a federal or state agency commenting on a proposed or final rule or regulation. It is our formal opportunity to publicly state our views on an agency rule. 

COMMITTEE/SUBCOMMITTEE: A panel (or subpanel) with members from the House or Senate (or both) tasked with conducting hearings, examining and developing legislation, conducting oversight and/or helping manage chamber business and activities. 

CONCURRENT RESOLUTION: A form of legislative measure used for the regulation of business within both chambers of Congress, not for proposing changes in law. Depending on the chamber of origin, they begin with a designation of either H.Con.Res. or S.Con.Res. 

CONFERENCE COMMITTEE: Temporary joint committee created to resolve differences between House-passed and Senate-passed versions of a measure. 

CONSTITUENT: A member of a community or organization who has the power to appoint or elect. 

CO-SPONSOR: Representatives or Senators who formally sign on to support a measure. Only the first-named member is the sponsor, all others are co-sponsors, even those whose names appear on the measure at the time it was submitted. 

FILIBUSTER: In the Senate, the use of dilatory or obstructive tactics to delay or block passage of a measure by preventing it from coming to a vote. 

HEARING: A formal meeting of a congressional or state legislative committee (or subcommittee) to gather information from witnesses for use in its activities (i.e., the development of legislation, oversight of executive agencies, investigations into matters of public policy, or Senate consideration of presidential nominations). 

HILL BRIEFING: Capitol Hill Briefings are designed to educate members of Congress and their staff about a particular issue. Briefings make it possible for policymakers to hear directly from patients, providers, caregivers and other experts in the field. 

JOINT RESOLUTION: A form of legislative measure used to propose changes in law, or to propose an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Depending on the chamber of origin, they begin with a designation of either H.J. Res. or S.J. Res. 

LEAVE-BEHIND: Materials prepared specifically for a meeting with an elected official, which can include one-pagers, infographics, petitions, comment letters and other publications. 

MARKUP: Meeting by a committee or subcommittee during which committee members offer, debate and vote on amendments to a measure. 

MEASURE: A legislative vehicle: a bill, joint resolution, concurrent resolution or simple resolution. 

ONE-PAGER: A summary of an issue, usually in the context of legislation, that defines an issue, a problem and the solution in the form of legislation or other policy proposal. 

POLICY: A system of laws, regulatory measures, courses of action and funding priorities concerning a given topic promulgated by a governmental entity or its representatives. 

POSITION STATEMENT: Actionable items that support legislation an organization is trying to advance. 

PUBLIC LAW: A public law or joint resolution that has passed both chambers and has been enacted into law. Public laws have general applicability nationwide. 

QUORUM: Minimum number of members a chamber (or committee) requires for the transaction of certain types of business. 

RANKING MEMBER: The most senior (though not necessarily the longest serving) member of the minority party on a committee (or subcommittee). 

RECESS: A temporary interruption of proceedings in the House or Senate. 

REGULATION: A regulation is a general statement issued by an agency, board or commission that has the force and effect of law. Congress often grants agencies the authority to issue regulations. Sometimes Congress requires agencies to issue a regulation; sometimes Congress grants agencies the discretion to do so. Many laws passed by Congress give federal agencies some flexibility in deciding how best to implement those laws. Federal regulations specify the details and requirements necessary to implement and enforce legislation enacted by Congress. 

SIGN-ON LETTER: A joint letter with peer organizations to send to policymakers. 

SPONSOR: A representative or senator who introduces or submits a bill or other measure. 

STATUTE: The provisions in legislation once they become law, before they are implemented by the agencies and become regulations. 

VALUE FRAMEWORK: Value models (also known as frameworks) have emerged as the latest tools to help health care stakeholders assess the value of new treatments. In 2015, four organizations – the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center – released frameworks that developers have described as intended to support physicians and/or payers in assessing the value of treatments. While the subject of these initial models is drugs, models to evaluate other health care interventions are poised to proliferate given the heightened focus on value. 

VETO: Presidential disapproval of a bill or joint resolution presented to him/her for enactment into law. If a president vetoes a bill, it can become law only if the House and Senate separately vote (by two-thirds) to override the veto. A similar process takes place in state legislature with the Governor having the power of veto. 

WHITE PAPER: A government or other authoritative report giving information or proposals on an issue. 

These definitions are drawn from the Library of Congress or U.S. Senate glossaries. 

Leadership Senate and House Glossary

SENATE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS: The U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations is the largest committee in the Senate and its role is defined by the U.S. Constitution, which requires “appropriations made by law” prior to the expenditure of any money from the federal Treasury. The committee writes legislation that allocates federal funds to numerous government agencies, departments and organizations on an annual basis. Appropriations are limited to the levels set by a budget resolution, drafted by the Senate Budget Committee. There are 12 subcommittees tasked with drafting legislation to allocate funds to government agencies within their jurisdictions. 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON LABOR, HEALTH, HUMAN SERVICES, EDUCATION AND RELATED AGENCIES (LHHS): This subcommittee has jurisdiction over the Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Labor and related agencies. 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON DEFENSE: This subcommittee has jurisdiction over the Department of Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency and basic allowance for housing. 

SENATE BUDGET COMMITTEE: The Senate Budget Committee determines fiscal priorities by creating the federal budget. Senate budget committees (including the House counterpart) are responsible for drafting Congress’ annual budget plan and monitoring action on the budget for the federal government. In addition, the budget committees have jurisdiction over the operation of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). 

SENATE COMMITTEE ON FINANCE: The Finance Committee has jurisdiction over taxation and other revenue measures, including those related to health programs. These health programs include Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and other Health and Human Services programs financed by a specific tax or trust fund.  

SENATE COMMITTEE ON HEALTH, EDUCATION, LABOR AND PENSIONS (HELP): The Senate HELP Committee has broad jurisdiction over our country’s health care, education, employment and retirement policies. 

HOUSE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS: The House Committee on Appropriations has a role that is defined by the U.S. Constitution, requiring “appropriations made by law” prior to the expenditure of any money from the federal Treasury. The committee writes legislation that allocates federal funds to numerous government agencies, departments and organizations on an annual basis. Appropriations are limited to the levels set by a budget resolution, drafted by the Senate Budget Committee. There are 12 subcommittees tasked with drafting legislation to allocate funds to government agencies within their jurisdictions. 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON LABOR, HEALTH, HUMAN SERVICES, EDUCATION AND RELATED SERVICES (LHHS): This subcommittee has jurisdiction over the Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Labor and related agencies. 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON DEFENSE: This subcommittee has jurisdiction over the Department of Defense, the Central Intelligence Agency and basic allowance for housing. 

HOUSE COMMITTEE ON THE BUDGET: The House Budget Committee determines fiscal priorities by creating the federal budget. The budget committees (including the Senate counterpart) are responsible for drafting Congress’ annual budget plan and monitoring action on the budget for the federal government. In addition, the budget committees have jurisdiction over the operation of the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). 

HOUSE COMMITTEE ON ENERGY AND COMMERCE: The House Committee on Energy and Commerce is vested with the broadest jurisdiction of the Congressional committees with responsibility over a broad portfolio of topics like consumer protection, food and drug safety, and public health research, environmental quality, and interstate and foreign commerce. It also oversees multiple cabinet level departments and independent agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Food and Drug Administration. 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON HEALTH: This subcommittee has jurisdiction over public health and quarantine; hospital construction; mental health; biomedical research and development; health information technology, privacy and cybersecurity; public health insurance (Medicare, Medicaid) and private insurance; medical malpractice and medical malpractice insurance; the regulation of foods, drugs and cosmetics; drug abuse; the Department of Health and Human Services; the National Institutes of Health; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Indian Health Service; and all aspects of the above referenced jurisdiction related to the Department of Homeland Security. 

HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE: The House Ways and Means Committee is the chief tax-writing committee in the House of Representatives. The committee has jurisdiction over taxation, tariffs and other revenue raising measures, as well as social security, unemployment benefits, Medicare, enforcement of child support laws, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) and foster care and adoption programs. 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON HEALTH: This subcommittee has jurisdiction over legislative programs providing payments for health care, health delivery systems or health research. 

Social Media Glossary

BITLY: Website that shortens and tracks click rates for URLs. (Twitter)

BOARD: Where pins are placed. Boards have themes, like health and wellness, exercise clothes, workout tips, etc. (Pinterest)

COMMENT: A short remark posted to a social media post. Users comment positively on posts they like and offer constructive criticism on posts that fall short. (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube)

FAVORITE: To click the heart image under a photo or tweet. This means you like it. All favorite posts show up under the favorites section on your profile. (Instagram and Twitter)

FILTER: An effect applied to a photo. (Instagram)

FOLLOW: When you follow someone, all of their posts will show up on your newsfeed. People who follow you are called followers. (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest)

FRIEND: When you friend someone, all of their posts will show up on your newsfeed and vice versa. Depending on the individual, certain viewing privileges are granted to friends only. (Facebook)

HANDLE: A username. Example: @arthritisfdn (Twitter)

HASHTAG: A type of tag used to find posts about a specific topic. Example: #arthritis#RA (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

LIKE: To give something the thumbs up. On YouTube, you can also dislike. (Facebook, YouTube)

NEWSFEED (OR FEED): Where content from the organizations or people you follow, like or are friends with appears. (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram)

PAGE: A profile for an organization or individual used for promotional purposes. You can like a page, but not friend it. (Facebook) 

PIN: To add something to one of your boards. Posts on Pinterest are called pins. (Pinterest)

PLAYLIST: A compilation of related videos. (YouTube)

POST: To upload something to your profile. (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube)

PROFILE: Every user is given a main page called a profile. All of your posts show up on your profile. (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube)

RETWEET: To repost a tweet that someone else has tweeted. (Twitter)

SHARE: To repost another person’s or page’s content.  (Facebook)

SUBSCRIBE: To view another user’s content in your newsfeed. (YouTube)

TAG: To link to another user in your post. (Facebook, Instagram)

TAG: Tags are words related to a post that help users find them. (YouTube)

TWEET: A message posted on Twitter. (Twitter)  Glossary | Coalitions 
 

Advocate for What's Right

As an Arthritis Advocate, you’ll feel good about taking action to make health care more accessible. Help shift the policy and public perception that affects those living with arthritis.

I Want to Contribute
I Need Help
  • Donate

    Every gift to the Arthritis Foundation will help people with arthritis across the U.S. live their best life.

  • Volunteer

    Join us and become a Champion of Yes. There are many volunteer opportunities available.

  • Live Yes! INSIGHTS

    Take part to be among those changing lives today and changing the future of arthritis.

  • Partner

    Proud Partners of the Arthritis Foundation make an annual commitment to directly support the Foundation’s mission.

Donate


Make a Donation

Help millions of people live with less pain and fund groundbreaking research to discover a cure for this devastating disease. Please, make your urgently-needed donation to the Arthritis Foundation now!

Become a Member

Become an Arthritis Foundation member today for just $20. You'll receive a year's worth of Arthritis Today magazine, access to helpful tools, resources, and more.

Make a Honor or Memorial Gift

Honor a loved one with a meaningful donation to the Arthritis Foundation. We'll send a handwritten card to the honoree or their family notifying them of your thoughtful gift.

Volunteer


Volunteer Opportunities

The Arthritis Foundation is focused on finding a cure and championing the fight against arthritis with life-changing information, advocacy, science and community. We can only achieve these goals with your help. Strong, outspoken and engaged volunteers will help us conquer arthritis. By getting involved, you become a leader in our organization and help make a difference in the lives of millions. Join us and become a Champion of Yes.


More About Volunteering

Live Yes! INSIGHTS


Give Just 10 Minutes.

Tell us what matters most to you. Change the future of arthritis.

By taking part in the Live Yes! INSIGHTS assessment, you’ll be among those changing lives today and changing the future of arthritis, for yourself and for 54 million others. And all it takes is just 10 minutes.

Your shared experiences will help:

- Lead to more effective treatments and outcomes
- Develop programs to meet the needs of you and your community
- Shape a powerful agenda that fights for you

Now is the time to make your voice count, for yourself and the entire arthritis community. 

Currently this program is for the adult arthritis community.  Since the needs of the juvenile arthritis (JA) community are unique, we are currently working with experts to develop a customized experience for JA families. 


How are you changing the future?

By sharing your experience, you’re showing decision-makers the realities of living with arthritis, paving the way for change. You’re helping break down barriers to care, inform research and create resources that make a difference in people’s lives, including your own.

Get Started

 

Partner


Meet Our Partners

As a partner, you will help the Arthritis Foundation provide life-changing resources, science, advocacy and community connections for people with arthritis, the nations leading cause of disability. Join us today and help lead the way as a Champion of Yes.

Trailblazer

Our Trailblazers are committed partners ready to lead the way, take action and fight for everyday victories. They contribute $2,000,000 to $2,749,000

Visionary

Our Visionary partners help us plan for a future that includes a cure for arthritis. These inspired and inventive champions have contributed $1,500,00 to $1,999,999.

Pioneer

Our Pioneers are always ready to explore and find new weapons in the fight against arthritis. They contribute $1,000,000 to $1,499,999.

Pacesetter

Our Pacesetters ensure that we can chart the course for a cure for those who live with arthritis. They contribute $500,000 to $999,000.

Signature

Our Signature partners make their mark by helping us identify new and meaningful resources for people with arthritis. They contribute $250,000 to $499,999.

Supporting

Our Supporting partners are active champions who provide encouragement and assistance to the arthritis community. They contribute $100,000 to $249,999.

More About Partnerships