The Power of Your Pen (or Keyboard)
Use your voice. Your words. Your story. We’ve made it easy for you by providing pre-written letters to Congress, but feel free to edit and make your letter your own. Below is a list of active letter campaigns. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact email@example.com.
First time using Speak Out? Get tips for crafting an effective message.
Urge Congress to Include Two Important Provisions to Address the Opioid Crisis
Treating chronic pain is one of the most complex health care issues facing America’s doctors. Limited options for pain management means more patients use prescription opioids, which can lead to accidental overdoses and increase risks for misuse. In 2016, 42,249 people died from overdosing on opioids, and the overall crisis is adversely affecting families and communities across the country.
To address this issue, the AAFP supports two key strategies already passed by the House on June 12: National Institutes of Health (NIH) research and improved prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) through the ACE Research Act (HR 5002) and CONNECTIONs Act (HR 5812), respectively. Any final opioid misuse legislation should include these provisions.
Tell Congress to Enact Legislation to Decrease Maternal Mortality Rates
The maternal mortality rate in the United States ranks among the highest in the developed world and is increasing, while maternal mortality rates in most other nations are falling. To address this worrying trend, 33 states have established maternal mortality review committees (MMRCs) to improve data collection and identify strategies to support women’s health care needs.
In further response to this health crisis, Congress introduced the Maternal Health Accountability Act (S 1112) and the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act (HR 1318) to authorize $7 million to expand the number of state maternal mortality review committees, improve data collection, and address current health disparities that exist.
Call on Your Senators to Cosponsor the Rural Physician Workforce Production Act
Rural areas continue to lag urban and suburban areas in their access to primary-care physicians, and geographic maldistribution of physician training programs contributes to this imbalance.
The Rural Physician Workforce Production Act would exempt participating hospitals that provide rural training from resident “caps” established under the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 and would establish a new mechanism to enhance payment to hospitals for such rural training positions. The legislation would also ensure that critical access hospitals are paid under GME using the same formula as urban hospitals to incentivize training in rural areas.
Urge Congress to Cosponsor the Primary Care Patient Protection Act (HR 5858)
In 2017, almost 22 million Americans were enrolled in high-deductible health plans (HDHPs). While the AAFP is supportive of HDHPs, they can sometimes discourage appropriate use of primary health services, given the higher deductibles associated with these types of health plans.
The Primary Care Patient Protection Act (HR 5858) would require HDHPs to offer access to their primary care physician, or their primary care team, independent of cost-sharing and the plan’s deductible.