Protect Medicaid - Advocacy Brief March 17, 2017

Medicaid is under attack and Oregon children are in peril.  The House of Representatives plans to vote on Thursday, March 23 -- the 7th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act -- to repeal and replace it with the American Health Care Act, a bill co-authored and championed by Oregon Congressman Greg Walden. 

At last week's AAP Annual Leadership Forum, attendees were urged to advocate against the AHCA, a radical reorganization of Medicaid that according to the Congressional Budget Office and state analysis could result in 465,000 more uninsured Oregonians, wreak havoc with adding $2.6 billion more to the state budget deficit, eliminate federal funding for a program serving children with special health care needs, and reduce health care jobs. Please read on for OPS' plan of action, and join us in "the battle of a lifetime to protect kids' health," as one ALF leader said. 

CALL TO ACTION 

  1. Target U.S. Rep. Walden the week of March 20th.

  2.  Write letters to the editor for your local newspaper. See resource section links below for templates, samples.
  3. Send thank you emails to Congressional and State elected officials who oppose the AHCA.
    •  Tweet or post your advocacy actions on OPS' Facebook page! Use #KeepKidsCovered and #Docs4Coverage. 
  4.  Help OPS form a coalition with other primary care providers and community partners (education, business, etc.).  Contact OPS Executive Director Julie Scholz.
  5. Attend the April 8 OPS Conference to hear more.

Talking Points

  • Share patient Medicaid-impact stories. 

  • Medicaid is a children's program! 41% of enrollees are kids (but only 19% of cost).  Medicaid, CHIP and the ACA made possible the historic 96% Oregon child health coverage rate -- 406,000 kids.

  • The AHCA's per capita caps to fund Medicaid will drastically increase costs to Oregon and the numbers of insured. Children will suffer without essential benefits and when their caregivers lose health coverage.

The AAP Advocacy Toolkit has more talking and writing tips.


ADVOCACY BACKGROUND & RESOURCES

For national updates, and a Medicaid advocacy toolkit with templates (such as letters to the editor, emails) and talking points, go to federaladvocacy.aap.org

AAP President Letter to Congressional Leaders

Check out OPS' opinion article, and letters to the editor from Washington state chapter AAP members.

Oregon snapshot of children's coverage


IN MEMORIAM

Sunday, April 9, will be the Celebration of Life service for Cindy Ferrell, MD, MSEd, FAAP, professor of pediatrics at OHSU School of Medicine and director of the pediatrics residency program for nine years.

When: April 9, 2 pm -5 pm 

Where: Collaborative Life Sciences Building                       

2730 S.W. Moody Ave., Portland, OR 97239 

RSVP and questions to events@ohsu.edu 

Advocacy Brief - February 10, 2017

It’s a busy time of year for advocacy. The State legislature is challenged by budget shortfalls. Many of you have contacted OPS with concerns about the stresses new federal immigration policies are causing for families. Please contact Julie Scholz, OPS Executive Director, if interested in joining the OPS Advocacy Action Team.

Here are some highlights of child advocacy activities and requests:


OPS’ REAR-FACING CAR SEAT BILL (HB2643) 

On February 14, Ben Hoffman, MD, FAAP will be testifying with the Oregon House Committee on Early Childhood and Family Supports about car safety up to age two. We welcome your attendance! 

Date: Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017

Time: 1 pm

Room: HR-D

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Capitol building, 900 Court St. NE, Salem Oregon 97301.


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SUPPORT FOR VACCINES

February 15 is Vaccination Exclusion Day for all students in public and private schools, pre-schools, Head Start, and certified child care centers. This year Hepatitis A vaccine is required for kids 18 months and older; one dose of Tdap is required for students grades 7 – 12. Parents need a certificate from their health care provider OR watch an online module and print out a certificate to claim an exemption

More than 350 medical, professional and advocacy organizations -including OPS- signed on to a letter drafted by the AAP to President Donald Trump expressing "unequivocal support" for the safety of vaccines. 

Read Letter Here


MARIJUANA REGULATION

A Joint Committee hearing on Senate bills to allow cannabis at temporary events and retailers near schools:  Tuesday, Feb. 14, 5:30pm – 7:30pm, Room HR-C, Capitol building, 900 Court St. NE, Salem Oregon 97301.

SB 306 Specifies that Oregon Health Authority may not register marijuana grow sites, marijuana processing sites, and medical marijuana dispensaries.

SB 307 Provides for regulation by Oregon Liquor Control Commission of consumption and sale of marijuana items at temporary events, including licensure of premises on which temporary events are held.

SB 319:  Authorizes local governments to allow medical marijuana dispensaries and marijuana retailers licensed by Oregon Liquor Control Commission to be located within certain distance of schools (500-1000ft of school grounds).


image from http://www.orunitedforkids.org

image from http://www.orunitedforkids.org

UNITED FOR KIDS CHILDREN’S AGENDA

OPS is a strong supporter of the 2017 legislative policy agenda for children.  Of the 56 concepts or bills, OPS’ 17 endorsements include everything from expanding the earned income tax credit, to fully funding Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Education, to raising the tobacco age to 21.

More Information


ANTIBIOTICS STEWARDSHIP

All 11 NICUs in Oregon and Vancouver, Washington are participating in a quality improvement collaborative related to antibiotic stewardship in newborns.  OSPIRG is supporting HB 2396 to stop routine antibiotic use on factory farms and reaching out to medical professionals and hospitals for support.  See the letter here and send your name, practice, specialty and contact information to Charlie Fisher, State Director, at cfisher@ospirg.org.


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MEDICAID EXPANSION

The State is putting together a website named "95% Oregon" supporting the Affordable Care Act, and needs stories about children and families who have benefitted from having OHP/Medicaid. Patients in Eastern Oregon especially desired. Please contact Elizabeth Cushwa, Children First for Oregon Strategic Director, at elizabeth@cffo.org; she will take care of collecting the information and photographs.