First Steps on Becoming a Grassroots Lobbyist
Develop a one-page document that supports your position on the AHCA that you would leave with your representative or his or her aide when you make your visit.
This one-pager, also called a ‘leave behind,’ should state your position clearly in bullet points and give your reasons why your position is preferred.
This ‘leave behind’ should have 1 inch margins and utilize 14-point font throughout.
If you were making this visit in person, you would present your ‘leave behind’ to the person with whom you speak during your visit.
Include a second page that describes your rationale for the position in your ‘leave behind’ page supported by at least two journal articles.
Write a two-page brief to describe the scenario surrounding your legislative visit. Understanding the political affiliation of your representative, include answers to the following:
Was your member in support or in opposition to the AHCA?
State three points that you would cover in support or opposition to your representative’s position.
How does your nursing experience influence the advocacy position that you take on the AHCA?
My political representative is Buddy Carter. He has served as a U.S. representative for Georgia’s 1st congressional district since 2015. He is a republican. He has various political stands or positions. One of them is that Carter does not support most of the constituents of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In that regard, he supports any proposals to repeal the legislation. This influenced his view about AHCA. Carter supports the proposal. He believed that the House bill would make various necessary changes to the healthcare reform law if passed.
There are various constituents of AHCA that makes me disagree with Carter’s view about the House bill. One of them is about healthcare insurance coverage. ACA has played a significant role in reducing the number of uninsured American citizens in the U.S. The number of insured individuals in the U.S. decreased significantly from 48.6 million in 2010 when ACA was passed into law to about 28.6 million in 2015. However, a slight increase in the uninsured has been observed from 2015 to 2021 (31.1 million) (Statista, 2021). An increase in health insurance coverage helps in promoting access to healthcare (Lee & Porell, 2020). ACA comprises various provisions or constituents, including the individual mandate and the caps for premiums charged by insurers, which promote health insurance coverage in the U.S. However, one of the American Health Care Act provisions is to eliminate the individual mandate. Therefore, if this House bill is passed, it is likely to impact health insurance coverage in the U.S. negatively, hence undermining access to care. This proposal is projected to increase the population of uninsured individuals by about 24 million.
The second issue that I will present to the legislator includes the proposal’s impact on the elderly in the country. In 2019, the U.S. elderly population represented about 16.5 percent of the country’s entire population (US Census Bureau, 2021). Thus, it is one of its smallest populations. However, the federal government spends almost half of its budget on older adults. Besides, a positive change in the U.S. elderly population has been observed. This means that the U.S. is likely to spend more to support older adults. The Affordable Care Act has helped address this issue by ensuring more older adults access health insurance. It inhibits insurance companies from charging older adults higher premiums, allowing many older adults to access health insurance. However, AHCA allows insurance companies to charge older adults higher premiums, limiting them from affordable care. This is likely to create more economic burden on the U.S. government.
Lastly, ACA focuses on addressing the discrimination of health consumers in the health insurance market. It offers subsidies to people with preexisting conditions and has imposed caps on premiums to ensure they are not overcharged, unlike the AHCA (Lee & Porell, 2020).
As a nurse, I have interacted with diverse individuals from different age groups and races/ethnicity. This has enabled me to understand how the Affordable Care Act has affected them and the possible positive and negative changes associated with AHCA. Therefore, this has been influenced by position regarding the proposal. Besides, as a nurse, I have realized that uninsured individuals are barred from access to quality care by high healthcare costs. Thus. I would support a policy that focuses on ensuring more American citizens get insured to enhance their access to health care.
Lee, H., & Porell, F. W. (2020). The effect of the Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion on disparities in access to care and health status. Medical Care Research and Review, 77(5), 461-473. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1077558718808709
Statista (2021). Number of people without health insurance in the United States from 1997 to June 2021(in millions). https://www.statista.com/statistics/200955/americans-without-health-insurance/
US Census Bureau. (2021). Older Population and Aging. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/topics/population/older-aging.html#:~:text=Older%20Population%20in%20the%20U.S.&text=A%20new%20report%20released%20to