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Contact Your Senators – Protect Medicaid

June 14, 2017 No Comments

The Kansas Chapter of AAP needs your help to advocate for Kansas Kids.  The American Health Care Act (AHCA) that passed the US House includes major cuts to the Medicaid program that serves 37 million children across the US and is now headed to the Senate.  We need to let our US Senators know that these cuts are going to affect thousands (209,000) of children in Kansas.

Call your US Senators tomorrow, Thursday, June 15.  This will take 2 minutes of your time and you will be part of a national AAP effort to have all 66,000 members contact their US Senators.  Let’s help make this a “Monumental” advocacy effort for kids! We have Made it EASY by providing phone numbers and a script to use when contacting both Senators. (see below).  Also provided are social media messages for Facebook, Twitter, and Websites.

THANK YOU – from the KAAP and the children of Kansas!

AAP Rapid Response Advocacy Action for KAAP Members:  Protect Medicaid

Days of Action to Call: June 15th & June 22nd, 2017

Over the next two weeks, the Senate is preparing to pass health care legislation. We need your help to urge them to preserve Medicaid in any bill they consider by joining our Days of Action on June 15th & June 22nd. Here’s how:

  1. Call, call, call. Right now is a critical window to influence the Senate health care proposal and the most effective way to do so at this point in the process is with phone calls. Each call is logged and the net effect is for Senators to get the message that their constituents feel strongly about protecting Medicaid. Instructions below.
  2. Share your story. Use social media to share why Medicaid matters to you and your patients. Write a blog or op-ed about your experience and call out your senators.
  3. Spread the word. Email your colleagues and urge them to join you in inundating the Senate on the Days of Action, June 15th and June 22nd, with phone calls. There is power in numbers to stop harmful Medicaid proposals from being included in the final bill, but we need every voice chiming in together.

We have Made it Easy – How to Call Your Senators & What to Say

On these two Days of Action, June 15th & again on June 22nd, pick up the phone and call your two U.S. senators to urge them to protect Medicaid from cuts or caps in any bill they consider. Here’s how:

  • Find your Senators’ office phone numbers Start with their DC office and if you can’t get through, try the district office closest to where you live. If you have time, ask for a local meeting in the state. If you don’t have time to meet, say the following when you call:
    • I am pediatrician from Kansas and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. I am calling today to urge {Senator’s name} to oppose any funding cuts or caps to Medicaid in your health care bill.
    • Medicaid covers children from low-income families and children with special health care needs. It’s a lifeline program for 209,000 children in our state.
    • I am deeply concerned with any proposal to cut or cap federal funding for Medicaid in any way. Doing so would shift costs to states, likely leading to enrollment and benefit cuts, and leaving children worse off.
    • Insert brief anecdote if you have one of a patient on Medicaid who would be impacted
    • Through Medicaid, children are guaranteed benefits that cover a comprehensive array of medically necessary services, including developmental, vision and hearing screenings. Pediatricians recommend these services because they help diagnose, treat and prevent complex conditions right away, saving money and lives. Capping Medicaid funding means these services could be rolled back or eliminated altogether.
    • Please protect children’s health care coverage and oppose any funding cuts or caps to Medicaid in any health care bill you consider.
    • Thank you for all you do for children.

Share Messages on Social Media: #DontCapMyCare & #KeepKidsCovered

 

Every day the next two weeks, but especially on Days of Action (June 15th & June 22nd), consider sharing messages on social media to urge the Senate to keep Medicaid strong. Below are some sample messages and ways to look up your Senators on Twitter to mention them specifically.

The main hashtag AAP and our partners are using for this effort is #DontCapMyCare, and #KeepKidsCovered is another hashtag to incorporate into messages.

AAP Handles to follow: @AmerAcadPeds, @AAPPres, @DrRemleyAAP, a list of AAP chapter handles

Handles for all U.S. Senators: https://twitter.com/cspan/lists/senators/members

Make sure to use .@ if you are beginning your tweet with the Senator’s Twitter handle, as indicated below.

Sample messages:

  • .@_____________: Medicaid gives {Your state abbreviation} kids a better chance for a healthy future. #DontCapMyCare
  • .@_____________: I’m a pediatrician & my patients have one message: #DontCapMyCare. Keep Medicaid strong & #KeepKidsCovered!
  • Medicaid matters for children. @_____________ #DontCapMyCare. Protect Medicaid in your health care bill.

Retweet the #KeepKidsCovered Test: https://twitter.com/AmerAcadPeds/status/874280467914264576

  • .@_____________ Does the health care bill pass the #KeepKidsCovered Test?
  • .@_____________ I am a pediatrician in (state). Does the health care bill pass the #KeepKidsCovered Test?
  • Does the health care bill pass the #KeepKidsCovered Test @_____________ and @_____________? Kids in #(state) need you to #PutKids1st.

 

Write a Blog or Op-ed About Protecting Medicaid from Caps or Cuts

Using the Senate talking points as a guide, consider writing a personal story about how capping Medicaid funding would impact your patients by writing a blog or op-ed in a local or national media outlet. Aim to publish the piece by June 22nd. Below are recent op-eds written by pediatricians as well as fact sheets and a new report on how Medicaid improves coverage for children in rural communities. Please email kids1st@aap.org with any op-ed you write for help editing and pitching the piece.

Data

  • State fact sheets summarizing children’s coverage with state-specific data
  • Rural health report from the Georgetown University Health Policy Institutute Center for Children and Families highlighting the importance of Medicaid in covering children in rural communities

Media Coverage

  • Recently published pediatrician op-eds:
    • An op-ed in the Charleston Gazette-Mail by John R. Phillips, MD, FAAP: Saving Medicaid means saving WV kids’ lives
    • An op-ed in the Dallas Morning News by Valerie Borum Smith, MD, FAAP: Cuts to Medicaid would badly damage care in rural Texas
    • An op-ed on Madison.com by Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD, FAAP: Dipesh Navsaria: Privately insured? What happens to Medicaid affects you too
  • An article in USA Today outlining the impacts of the bill on child health

Spread the Word: Encourage Other Pediatricians to Join In

Send an email to your networks along the lines of what’s below, urging them to join you in these Days of Action. There is power in numbers, and the more touchpoints senators receive from constituents and child health experts, the more likely the message gets through.

Dear colleagues:

As a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, I have been asked to engage in two Days of Action to protect Medicaid on June 15th and June 22nd. The Senate is considering a health care bill as we speak that could be introduced any day and passed by the fourth of July recess. Since the process has not been transparent, we don’t yet know the final bill they’re proposing, but what we do know is that Medicaid is at risk, and now is the time to speak out.

Please join me in these two days of action to call your U.S. senators and urge them to vote “no” on any proposal that cuts or caps Medicaid funding in any way. Doing so would jeopardize the way the program works now to effectively cover 37 million children, and would leave children and families worse off.

Here is a list of all Senate phone numbers and below is a sample script. Start with their DC office and if you can’t get through, try the district office closest to where you live. If you have time, ask for a local meeting in the state. If you don’t have time to meet, say the following when you call:

  • I am pediatrician from {your state} and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. I am calling today to urge {Senator’s name} to oppose any funding cuts or caps to Medicaid in your health care bill.
  • Medicaid covers children from low-income families and children with special health care needs. It’s a lifeline program for {insert number of children on Medicaid from your state fact sheet} in our state.
  • I am deeply concerned with any proposal to cut or cap federal funding for Medicaid in any way. Doing so would shift costs to states, likely leading to enrollment and benefit cuts, and leaving children worse off.
  • Insert brief anecdote if you have one of a patient on Medicaid who would be impacted
  • Through Medicaid, children are guaranteed benefits that cover a comprehensive array of medically necessary services, including developmental, vision and hearing screenings. Pediatricians recommend these services because they help diagnose, treat and prevent complex conditions right away, saving money and lives. Capping Medicaid funding means these services could be rolled back or eliminated altogether.
  • Please protect children’s health care coverage and oppose any funding cuts or caps to Medicaid in any health care bill you consider.
  • Thank you for all you do for children.

In addition, here are some sample social media posts for you to consider sending out on June 15th and June 22nd using #DontCapMyCare.

Handles for all U.S. Senators: https://twitter.com/cspan/lists/senators/members

Sample messages:

  • .@SenatorTwitterHandle: Medicaid gives {Your state abbreviation} kids a better chance for a healthy future. #DontCapMyCare
  • @SenatorTwitterHandle: I’m a pediatrician & my patients have one message: #DontCapMyCare. Keep Medicaid strong & #KeepKidsCovered!
  • Medicaid matters for children. @SenatorTwitterHandle #DontCapMyCare. Protect Medicaid in your health care bill.

Thank you for your help,

 

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