Become An Advocate for Excellence in Nephrology Practice
It is not only your right but also your obligation to let elected officials and policy makers know how you feel about important issues. It is your responsibility to speak out on matters that affect you directly or no one else will. RPA has developed pathways to allow you to do this.
RPA’s Legislative Action Center (LAC) facilitates the important communication between RPA members and their members of Congress as well as representatives in their state legislatures. The LAC allows RPA members to track the progress of and search for all current legislation being considered by Congress.
RPA Capitol Hill Day 2019
All RPA members are invited to get involved in the development of federal policy affecting your practice by participating in RPA’s annual Capitol Hill Day in Washington, DC on Friday, June 21,followed by the RPA PAL Forum on June 22-23. RPA staff schedule meetings for attendees, and participants will be advised on preliminary arrangements made for their Hill Day visits prior to their arrival in Washington.
Please contact RPA’s Director of Public Policy, Rob Blaser, at 301-468-3515, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions on Hill Day.
RPA Capitol Hill Day 2018 (Highlights)
On Friday June 22, 2018, RPA convened its annual Capitol Hill Day congressional visits program in conjunction with the American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP). This year’s event had the highest participation ever, with nearly 75 advocates (including 17 patient representatives) calling on their elected officials in 123 meetings, 19 of which were with the Senator or House member themselves. Beginning the day was a briefing during which attendees were prepped on the current climate on Capitol Hill, the logistics of how to do a Hill Visit and what to expect, and the best ways for effective follow-up with a House or Senate office. The briefing was highlighted by remarks from Congressman Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA), and internist from Sacramento. Dr. Bera urged the nephrologists present to use their unique positions and voices to for issues affecting the care they provided to their patients. RPA also offered a ‘Virtual Hill Day’ option for members who couldn’t make it to Washington, and this resulted in over 200 letters being sent to Hill offices from across the country.
After the morning briefing, advocates took to the Hill. The congressional visits focused on RPA’s 2018 legislative agenda, comprised of: (1) the Living Organ Donor Protection Act (H.R. 1270); (2) the Local Coverage Determination Clarification Act (S. 794/H.R. 3635; (3) the CKD Improvement in Research and Treatment Act (S. 1890/H.R. 2644); and (4) immunosuppressive drug coverage, for which there is currently no introduced bill. Numerous Hill offices indicated their intent or interest in either cosponsoring existing legislation (such as the living organ donation bill in the House and the local coverage determination bill in both chambers) or becoming an original sponsor for the living organ donation bill in the Senate or for immunosuppressive drug coverage bill in both chambers.
The Texas delegation prepares for their exceptionally full slate of Congressional meetings.
Congressman Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA), an internist from Sacramento, urges Hill Day attendees to not be passive
in advocating for their priorities.
RPA Board member Ron Hyde and AAKP representative Carlos Cristi discuss living organ donation
with Michael Brownlie from the office of Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ).
Congressman Garrett Graves (R-LA) along with his Deputy Chief of Staff Kevin Roig meet with the Louisiana delegation,
including RPA Board member Robert Kenney, Teresa Liccardi, and Mary Alice Stanford.
RPA Board member Joseph Flynn meets with Legislative Director Ven Neralla from the office of Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA)
to discuss the effect of local coverage determination policies on care delivery in Washington state.
Nephrologist Samir Gautam of Natchez, MI, along with RPA Executive Director Dale Singer and Director of Public Policy Rob Blaser, meets with Elizabeth Joseph from the office of Rep. Gregg Harper to outline the challenges of providing kidney care in rural locations.
RPA President Michael Shapiro and RPA PAC Chair Jay Agarwal pause while walking across the Capitol grounds en route to the afternoon meetings on the House side.
RPA Board member Keith Bellovich, nephrologist Faten Ayyoub, and Health Legislative Aide Lorenzo Rubalcava from the office of Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) talk about the need for living organ donation bill to be introduced in the Senate.