While a legislator may be an expert on one or two issues, it is impossible for every lawmaker to master every issue likely to come before Congress. Elected officials rely on staff, outside expertise and constituent input to effectively represent the people of their district or state.
An ongoing dialogue with your elected officials is the best way to ensure they understand how their decisions will impact their constituents back home. No one can better explain the complexities of health care delivery and the impact policy changes would have on your organization’s ability to continue delivering care than people like you on the front line.
It is important to build a relationship with your legislators not just contact them when legislation is pending.
Dear Senator Merkley,
As the chief nursing officer and vice president of Legacy Children's Hospital in Portland, I urge you to protect health care coverage for the patients and community I serve. I believe any changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) should continue to provide health care coverage for the tens of millions of Americans who have benefited from the law.
The House-passed American Health Care Act would significantly cut Medicaid and eliminate essential protections for older and sicker patients, including those with pre-existing conditions such as cancer patients and the chronically ill. This would adversely affect the population I have served as a registered nurse - children. Currently, Medicaid covers more than 50% of the children we serve in our community. The cuts in Medicaid would take us back to a time when families waited to get treatment for their child's illness until they were gravely ill because they had no medical coverage.
It is the right of every American to receive high-quality health care and the responsibility of health care providers to ensure they receive it. As the Senate looks to repeal and replace the ACA, I urge you to protect health care coverage, particularly for our most vulnerable. Please do not support any legislation that would harm patients' ability to access the care they need.
Social Media Tips
Nearly all members of Congress have Facebook and Twitter accounts. Follow your senators and representative to see what issues are most important to them and share your views with them. Conversations about what is happening in your community are happening online. Social media provide an opportunity to participate in the dialogue to make sure your voice is heard.
We need a strong investment in nursing research and workforce development @SenatorDurbin. #NoMoreCuts to these vital programs.