It has been several years since I last joined AA Homecare to participate in their Legislative Conference (WASHINGTON FLY-IN). This has proven to be a most effective way to get to see as many congressmen possible. The way that AAH provided handouts, scheduled most of the appointments and then carefully explained to all of us just how to make the presentations to be effective. They did a terrific job! They did this again this year.
I received a summary of the activities this year from Jerry Hall and the Florida delegates he traveled with. This team worked with the Health L.A. or the Chief of staff in each office they visited. They are the important personnel in each office in DC who can carry your message. Locally, you will discover that there is a similar office not very distant from you. A visit there has always been fruitful! In my district in Florida a number of DME/HME dealers work closely with our Congressman through his local office.
One of Jerry’s team objectives was to ask other Congressmen to co-sponsor H.R. 1717. The reports I received were very positive. They met several Congressmen and both Senators from Florida. They were all very encouraging. The Congressmen who have already signed on to HR 1717 were also asked to contact all the others who did not sign on (not just from Florida). Currently we have 174 co-sponsors and we need 218. Please contact your representative and if you need their number contact your state association or call me (321-259-7127). It is that imperative that this bill is passed! MAKE THAT CALL ASAP!
The task we have always faced was how to get elected officials on our side. This was often accomplished when we told them how many senior citizens, Medicare, and other patients we service. We also expanded our list by including family caregivers. To stay in office, Congressmen need votes. Working with us is how better they can earn them. This worked very nicely for us and it will work for you. Votes are the keys to them staying in office.
I know that if every DME/HME dealer will become more active we will be able to get H.R. 1717 passed. We have to do this because if we fail again this will be fatal for many dealers. They might be forced to close down their operation and the loss of income and employees is too frightening to consider. Let us not allow this to happen. Get on the team and everything can be changed to the positive. If you are not currently a member of your state DME association and AA Homecare please do it now! I know at Medtrade in Atlanta there will a great amount of time dedicated to aid you in becoming a more active dealer.