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2017 Priority Issue: Access to Care

June 2017 Federal Legislative Alert:
Join in Sending One Message to the Senate: Protect Medicaid

The Senate version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) could be introduced any day and passed as early as the Fourth of July. 

Please join AAP members across the country in flooding the phone lines and inboxes of U.S. Senators, urging them to vote "no" on any proposal that cuts or caps Medicaid funding. 

AAP has designated two "days of action" to amplify pediatricians' calls, emails and social media messages: June 15 and June 22. Please take a few minutes on these days to speak up for kids.

Even though Minnesota Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken are committed to protecting Medicaid, they need to hear that they have our support. Your voice allows them to raise theirs in opposition to a higher level. Each message is reviewed and logged, and collectively, our voices can make a difference. 

Two phone calls take less than 5 minutes.

Call Senator Amy Klobuchar at (202) 224-3244 and Al Franken at (202) 224-5641. 

Your message can be as short and simple: "Hello. I am a pediatrician from Minnesota and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. I'm calling to urge the Senator to continue to speaking out against the AHCA. We are at a historic high for insurance coverage for children - 97% in Minnesota - and the AHCA would take us backward. I urge the Senator to continue to oppose the AHCA as well as any funding cuts or caps to Medicaid, which could lead to enrollment and benefit cuts for high-risk children across Minnesota and the country."

Want to do more?
  • Use social media to share why Medicaid matters to you and your patients with #DontCapMyCare and #KeepKidsCovered
  • Write a brief letter to the editor. We're happy to edit and help you get it published.
  • If you have property in other states, contact your senators there, too.
  • Urge your friends and relatives, especially outside of Minnesota, to speak up and contact their senators as well. 

Additional resources

Talking points

Protecting Childrens Coverage Advocacy Toolkit

U.S. Senate Twitter handles

Minnesota Snapshot of Children's Coverage (AAP)

Impacts of Repealing the Affordable Care Act (MN Department of Human Services)

Medicaid Fact Sheet (AAP)

Minnesota 2016 CHIP Fact Sheet (AAP)

Letters to the editor from Minnesota pediatricians

Videos

Dr. Andrew Kiragu (MNAAP President):
https://twitter.com/mundumuragu/status/878017716510232576

Dr. Megan Jennings (3 original videos):
https://twitter.com/drmjkidsdoc/status/878014751762264064
https://twitter.com/drmjkidsdoc/status/880913058968866816
https://twitter.com/drmjkidsdoc/status/882719546137866244

Dr. Nate Chomilo (Med/Peds):
https://twitter.com/medpedschomilo/status/877598549067915264

Dr. Michelle Rheault (Peds Nephrology):
https://twitter.com/rheault_m/status/878060757895716864

Dr. Alan Hoffman (Retired Pediatrician/Peds Radiologist):
https://twitter.com/namd4kids/status/882278231470202880

Dr. Nusheen Ameenuddin (2 videos):
https://twitter.com/namd4kids/status/876329970418765824
https://twitter.com/namd4kids/status/882122275411169280

Thank you for taking the time to advocate on behalf of children! Together, we can make a difference! 

April 2017 State Legislative Alert:
Opposing Cuts to MN Medicaid and MinnesotaCare Payments

MNAAP is urging pediatric providers to contact their state legislators about proposed cuts to physician payment rates.

The House and Senate have passed bills that would cut payment rates for services provided under Medical Assistance (MA) and Minnesota Care. Under the Senate bill, rates would be cut by over 2% beginning July 1, 2017 and 3% on July 1, 2019. Under the House bill, rates could be cut by as much as 7.3%.

Whether the cuts will go into effect remains to be seen; a conference committee is meeting to reconcile differences in the health spending bills that contain these provisions.

If passed, however, any cuts to payment rates could restrict access to care for Minnesota's most vulnerable citizens - the young, the elderly and the disabled. Minnesota already ranks near the bottom of states for Medicaid reimbursement with rates as low as 30 cents on the dollar of private insurance. Without appropriate payments that cover the cost of care, fewer pediatric providers may be able to participate in Medicaid, limiting those who can treat low-income patients, increasing wait times for appointments or forcing families to travel long distances to seek care.

Half of all Medicaid enrollees in Minnesota are children. Additionally, 100 percent of children and teens in foster care in Minnesota are covered by Medicaid. In fact, over 407,000 children and 13,000 pregnant women rely on Minnesota Medical Assistance each month. 

(Fore more statistics, view AAP's Snapshot of Children's Coverage in Minnesota or Minnesota Medicaid Fact Sheet.)

Please take 2-3 minutes to contact your state legislators and urge them to vote against Medicaid payment cuts:

1. Find your state legislators (MN House and MN Senate): http://www.gis.leg.mn/iMaps/districts/

2. Send them a brief email using the language above. Feel free to personalize or modify. Copy cairns@mnaap.org so we can track outreach. 

Another option is a quick call saying, "I am a constituent in your district and strongly oppose the proposed cuts to Medicaid payment rates. Minnesota already ranks in the bottom five states for Medicaid and Medicare payments. Further cuts could restrict access to care by limiting the number of physicians able to treat low-income patients. Please do not vote for the HHS spending bill if it includes these cuts."

 

March 2017 Federal Legislative Alert:
Opposing Federal Caps on Medicaid

As we examine patients, order tests, prescribe treatment and coordinate care for our patients, members of Congress are debating whether some will lose or maintain access to coverage for certain services. It's our responsibility as health care providers to urge Congress to preserve Medicaid and CHIP, which affect 2 in 5 children in Minnesota.

The American Health Care Act (AHCA) would end the federal government's commitment to state Medicaid programs as we know it. The AAP and other major medical groups oppose the per capita caps and other restrictions that would lead to drastic reductions in children covered by Medicaid, significant cuts to benefits and even tighter access to physicians.

Please take a moment to contact your representatives in Congress and urge them to ensure every child has access to health insurance, care and services. The process takes less than 5 minutes, but collectively, our impact could last years.  

1. Find your representative in Congress (U.S. House and U.S. Senate): http://www.gis.leg.mn/iMaps/districts/

2. Send them an email using talking points or letter template provided. AAP has sample messaging in its Protecting Childrens Coverage Advocacy Toolkit. Feel free to modify. Please copy cairns@mnaap.org so we can track outreach.

Another option is a quick call saying, "I am a __ in your district and strongly oppose the proposed cuts to Medicaid and the per capita caps on medicaid included in the House American Health Care Act (AHCA). Thousands of children and teens in Minnesota could lose their health insurance if these Medicaid cuts are approved by Congress. Please oppose these Medicaid changes."

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Additional resources:

Minnesota Snapshot of Children's Coverage (AAP)

Impacts of Repealing the Affordable Care Act (MN Department of Human Services)

Medicaid Fact Sheet (AAP)

Minnesota 2016 CHIP Fact Sheet (AAP)

Opposition to American Health Care Act - A letter from MNAAP President Andrew Kiragu, MD to Minnesota's Congressional Delegation

Congress Twitter handles: U.S. House and U.S. Senate

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March 21 Pediatricians' Day at the Capitol
State Advocacy

Each year more than 100 residents, pediatricians and med students gather at the Capitol to discussand advocate for issues that havea direct impact on the health of children across Minnesota. Children can’t vote, and there are no pediatricians in our state legislature, which is why we do this every year. Pediatricians, residents, pediatric nurse practitioners and other pediatric advocates are welcome.

Pediatricians' Day at the Capitol March 21

View MNAAP's 2017 Policy Priority

Other Resources

AAP Advocacy Guide: The "What and Whys" of Advocacy | Pediatricians are Natural Advocates
Pediatric Advocacy: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (Charles Oberg, MD, Pediatrics 2003)

Members can sign up for bi-weekly legislative updates from MNAAP's lobbyist to stay current on these and other child health issues being discussed at the Capitol. Sign up by sending an email to cairns@mnaap.org