Members of Congress and their staffs must hear from constituents to fully understand and work toward meeting their needs—and the views and opinions of voters in their home districts and states carry the most weight.
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Healthcare providers enjoy a unique opportunity and challenge to educate elected officials about complex policies that affect patient care and provider solvency. It’s impossible for legislators and their staff members to be experts in every policy area they vote on. As an expert, you are a valuable resource to them. By establishing yourself as a local source of trusted information for your legislators and their staff, you can encourage decision makers to consider expert knowledge from you and the ACR when considering issues that affect rheumatology and healthcare.
With such narrow margins in both the House and Senate, every vote counts on key legislation. Healthcare proposals, whether incremental and targeted in approach or larger and more comprehensive in scope, tend to garner dramatic debate and close votes. Your work in educating and asking legislators to support key initiatives could be the difference in getting legislative priorities across the finish line.
Each year in August, lawmakers return home for the summer recess and convene district workweeks. That means you have the opportunity to meet with your senators and representatives in their local offices, attend fundraisers nearby or participate in town halls. This is where our strength as a membership organization can benefit us most: We and our patients are voters and constituents. This is your opportunity to talk to your lawmakers without the usual Washington distractions.
Scheduling a virtual visit, a phone call or a meeting at a local office or inviting a lawmaker to tour your practice can be extremely simple. Start by plugging in your ZIP code and address in the “Find Officials” section of the ACR’s Legislative Action Center. From there, you can directly email an office or find other contact information.
With any questions about ACR advocacy topics or how to schedule meetings, contact ACR Manager of Advocacy & Political Affairs Dan Redinger.