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Presentation on theme: "EFFECTIVE ADVOCACY FOR HEALTH CARE Getting in the Capitol Door."— Presentation transcript:


2 Introduction Christine Kearsley, CareShare Health Alliance Intern  Please feel free to ask questions!

3 Agenda How to get a meeting What to say A day in the life The 7 deadly sins of advocacy Focus: neglecting the “how” Doing it right Focus: use their calendar Biggest surprises State vs. federal Rulemaking Congress and the internet Additional resources Q & A

4 How to get a meeting The cartoon view POLL: Have you ever met with an elected official?

5 How to get a meeting Be a constituent. Also:  Email, then call a week later  Offer a specific time  “I’ll be in town…”  Explain your affiliation  Can’t meet every constituent  Remind them they care

6 What to say 1, 2, or 3 aims Why it matters:  Your personal story  Data  Money, money, money  Why this Congressman should care Lead with the conclusion Speak slowly and use small words (kidding)

7 A day in the life of a staffer Read the Congressional Dailies Answer scheduling emails Attend to Constituent mail Compile expenses report Meet with advocacy group Chase down boss about something Go through Dear Colleague Requests Attend hearing Train interns on computer system Get interrupted, put out fire, return to work Meet with constituents Write a memo

8 The Seven Deadly Sins of Advocacy 1. The 50-page report 2. Someone else’s district 3. Senator ≠ Representative 4. Making enemies of gatekeepers (junior staff) 5. Assuming they already know 6. Too many issues 7. Neglecting the “how”

9 Neglecting the “how” Two stories:  Tuberculosis briefing  Wind energy project “Is there something the Senator can do about this?”

10 The menu of “How”: Vote for a bill Cosponsor a bill Introduce a bill Offer an amendment Request budget levels Write a letter of support Send your complaint to a federal agency Include your message in a speech Host a briefing Invite you to testify Send a “Dear Colleague” Name a post office after you (really.) Request a CBO Analysis Join a caucus Attend a meeting

11 What is something you’d like to change? Make it concrete.

12 Doing it Right 1. 1-pager, with email follow-up 2. K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid.) 1. Put it in terms of bill numbers 2. Draft the letter or the talking points for the speech 3. Layman’s terms 3. Find their power 1. What committees? 4. Do your homework (duh) 5. Use their calendar

13 Use their calendar   Legislative Calendar   Links & Resources  Floor Resources  Daily Leader (next page) Committee websites (google Senate Appropriations, etc.)


15 Biggest surprises 1. Staff are not experts 2. Members of Congress are just people

16 Biggest surprises, continued 3.They will commit, but not until they have to. Week 1 of Staff Assistant Training  “don’t promise he’ll vote for it” Pressing for an answer = really awkward meeting

17 State Federal 1 staffer, 2 interns Much more responsive! Individual answers to constituent letters NC: Short & long session 10 staffers, 3 interns More hurdles Form letters, almost always US: In session, unless in district State vs. Federal Legislatures Which of these stories is not true? A) Soccer headgear bill B) Covered provider swap

18 Federal Rulemaking: What is it, why do we care? Legislature writes bill, agencies fill in the details 3 steps:  1. Notice in Federal Register Official daily publication for rules, proposed rules, and notices of Federal agencies and organizations, as well as executive orders and other presidential documents  2. **Opportunity for comment** Public generally has at least 30 days to comment on proposed rules Rules occasionally subject to public hearings Agency must consider the comments before issuing the final regulations Interested parties can also petition for rulemaking  3. Final rule published By golly, someone reads them! Adapted from Dr. Sue Havala Hobbs, UNC School of Public Health


20 Congress and the Internet Survey by Congressional Management Foundation: Almost half of Americans (44%) contacted a U.S. Senator or Representative in the past five years.  Much higher contact rate than in 2004 A plurality (43%) of Americans who had contacted Congress used online methods to do so  More than twice the percentage that had used postal mail or the telephone. 84% who had contacted Congress had been asked to do so by a third party –largely interest groups Internet users wanted responses, but they tended not to be satisfied with the responses they received.  Only 2/3 who contacted Congress who recalled receiving a reply to their most recent communication  Of those who did, almost half (46%) were dissatisfied with it.  The most common reasons for dissatisfaction were that the response did not address their concerns (64%) and that it was too politically biased (51%). Internet users who contacted Congress were motivated to do so because they cared deeply about an issue (91%). Rep’s District = ~700,000

21 Additional resources Speaker’s Office, etc.  “Current legislation”   Biased but accurate (search by bill number) Kaiser Family Foundation,  National and State Info, health-specific, search “North Carolina” for state info Congressional Daily Newspapers  (The Hill, Politico – others w/subscription) Politicians’ Press Releases Professional Associations & Advocacy Organizations

22 But you don’t have to take my word for it…

23 Questions & Answers

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