Speak Up, Be Heard and Exercise Your Right to Vote

In 46 days, on November 8th, millions of Americans will vote and exercise their most sacred right – the right to vote. That means lawmakers and candidates for the House and Senate will be busy campaigning for the next 46 days, listening to the most important issues affecting their constituents.

Ensuring the financial stability of hospitals and healthcare systems—both in the short and long term—so they can continue their efforts to advance health in America is paramount in this election.

For months, we’ve been sounding the alarm that care providers across the country are facing significant challenges on many fronts at once. These include placing extreme pressure on the workforce, caring for sicker and more medically complex patients, and managing skyrocketing spending on labor, supplies, medicines and equipment. All of these factors combine to threaten patient access to care.

That’s why this year’s midterm elections are so important. Our department has a number of very important political issues and decisions still at play on Capitol Hill this year. We asked the legislator:

  • extend critical programs for rural communities, such as B. the low-volume adjustment and Medicare-dependent hospital programs scheduled to expire on September 30;
  • Make permanent COVID-19 emergency exemptions that have led to improvements in care;
  • prevent the imposition of the 4% PAYGO sequestration and encourage the legislature and administration to resuspend the Medicare 2% sequestration;
  • evaluating payment adjustments under the Medicare payment system;
  • Advancing ideas to stabilize hospitals with safety nets;
  • seek equitable remedy for hospitals affected by unlawful cuts in 340B payments in previous years; and
  • hold commercial health insurance companies accountable for their behavior, which further burdens hospitals financially and puts pressure on staff.
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It is critical that our elected lawmakers and candidates for office understand the tsunami of challenges that threaten hospitals’ ability to support their communities and provide continued access to care. We need to continue talking about these challenges and solutions now, to set the stage for possible action in the far from certain lame duck session at the end of the year, and to set the basis for future action when the new Congress meets in January.

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The AHA has created and updated a number of useful tools and resources to help hospitals and healthcare systems participate in this important election. Visit our We Care, We Vote website for new content designed to help hospital leaders manage interactions with congressional candidates, highlight advocacy priorities and encourage participation in the voting process.

For example, we provide suggested questions that candidates can use to discuss their views on healthcare issues, provide legal do’s and don’ts, and offer a digital toolkit of sample messages hospital leaders can use to encourage their employees to register to vote.

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Additionally, you can learn how to use the virtual map for election and voting information for each state. Our We Care, We Vote materials may also be used in conjunction with Employee Voter Week (September 26-30) and Voter Education Week (October 3-7). You can also spread the word by sharing our latest special bulletin with your government affairs and communications staff, your leadership team and governance board, and any other staff who are helping to mobilize community engagement at your hospital.

Please use the next 46 days to speak with your lawmakers and candidates for office that hospitals and healthcare systems are irreplaceable cornerstones of their communities. And how important it is that they provide additional government support so hospitals can fulfill their mission of saving lives, healing communities and promoting health for all.

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