No one is more qualified than you to tell lawmakers how their policies affect your ability to provide quality care and your patients’ ability to access it. Think contacting your legislators doesn’t matter? Think again.
Thanks to the diligence of ACR and ARHP members who took the time to call, write, tweet, and email their legislators, rheumatology was able to play an integral role in:
- Defeating healthcare reform legislation, which would have removed protections for those with pre-existing conditions and reduced access to coverage
- Pressuring CMS to cancel their Part B Drug Reimbursement Project
- Helping preserve funding for rheumatic disease research and increasing funding for biomedical research
- Aiding in introducing step therapy legislation in Congress
- Restarting premium processing for physicians applying for an H-1B visa through an ACR-drafted American Medical Association measure
- Extending flexibilities in the MACRA program for physicians and small practices
While much has been accomplished in the span of one eventful year, there are many important issues the ACR is still working to address — and we need your help. Patients are struggling to avoid high co-payments associated with specialty tiers. Funding for NIH research is at risk. And unfair and overly restrictive insurer practices are limiting patients’ access to critical treatments and, in some cases, prohibiting rheumatologists from being compensated for the care they provide.
Your voice is an essential part of the ACR’s advocacy efforts, and our Legislative Action Center (LAC) makes contacting your legislator easier than ever. From the LAC, you can quickly:
- Access information on legislative initiatives the ACR currently needs your help with
- Find the elected officials for your district and their contact information
- View and search for legislation
- Share your concerns with your senators and representatives using a customizable email template
You can find the LAC at rheumatology.org/advocacy. We also recommend signing up for alerts on changes in federal and state issues that affect you and your patients. It takes less than two minutes to ensure you will be notified when new advocacy initiatives and updates are available.
Encourage your patients to have a voice in the legislative process, as well. To help them make their voices heard, we have designed a special action center just for patients on the ACR’s Simple Tasks website (www.simpletasks.org) that provides patient-centric overviews of our current issues and all of the same tools available to you for contacting their legislators.
Hands-on training for the LAC is being provided during the Tuesday session, Intro to Advocacy: First Steps, Social Media & Technology, from 9:00 – 10:00 am in Room 5 B of the San Diego Convention Center. This is the perfect time to ask questions, get signed up, and send your first email. Don’t let Congress make decisions without you. Get involved today!