Now is the time to get on the calendars of your representative and senators to talk with them about our priorities. The annual Congressional summer recess is just weeks away, with the House scheduled to take a six-week recess from July 27 through September 8 and the Senate currently planning for a five-week recess from August 3 through September 8. This is a prime time for NAHU members to meet with their federal legislators and help guide the next wave of healthcare reform legislation, and NAHU encourages members to work with their local chapters on scheduling meetings with lawmakers during this time.
While NAHU lobbies on behalf of agents and brokers on a daily basis, often the most important conversations come directly from constituents talking about what is happening to their friends, family, clients, and coworkers on a daily basis. And unlike meetings in Washington, D.C., which you’re able to do during our annual Capitol Conference, and which NAHU staff does regularly throughout the year, the summer recess and district work periods provide the opportunity for more informal and intimate conversations. As health insurance agents and brokers, you have an unparalleled window into what is happening all over your congressional district and state. Members of Congress want to hear from you as they consider the latest proposals for the healthcare industry.
If you or your chapter has not already scheduled a meeting with your member of Congress, we encourage you to do so! The first step is to reach out to your local chapter’s legislative chair and ask if any meetings are already scheduled or in the works. If not, work with your chapter’s legislative chair and fellow members to get a meeting on the calendar! The best way to schedule a meeting with your member of Congress is to call their district office and speak with the scheduler.
To help you prepare for your meetings, we’ve compiled some helpful tips that may be useful for you during your meeting:
- When having a meeting with your member of Congress or a member of their staff, it is incredibly helpful when introducing yourself, to briefly explain the role and the value of a health insurance agent or broker. Members of Congress and their staffs are so busy; their days are filled with constituent meetings of all topics. Prior to walking into your meeting they could have been in a meeting about energy policy or immigration, so briefly stating who you are and what you do at the beginning of the meeting is essential.
- Everyone likes to be thanked for their work and that holds true for members of Congress. If your member has been supportive of our issues by introducing or co-sponsoring priority legislation, please be sure to thank them! If you have any questions about your member and if they’ve been supportive of agent and broker issues and if NAHU has a relationship with them, please let us know.
- On the housekeeping side, it is also important to limit the number of members attending each appointment. Too many people at a meeting can overwhelm the office and bury your message.
Once you schedule a meeting, please let us know. In an effort to provide more support to NAHU members and chapters attending meetings with their member of Congress or their staff, we will be reaching out to those who have scheduled meetings with their representatives and providing them with customized talking points, specific to that member of Congress. Of course, we can only do this if you let us know about your appointment. If you have any questions on the summer recess, please send us a message!