Last week concluded the first round of congressional deliberations on the nation’s health care system. With a “No” vote in the Senate against repealing and replacing the current health law, the door is now narrowly open to a transparent, bipartisan process. Now, Congress can take the opportunity to engage more voices, including the social sector, and that’s where you and your organization come in.

The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities network played a role in collectively influencing the outcome of last week’s vote. Our strategic action network added its voices to the many who fought back against harmful changes to the state-federal Medicaid financing structure and demanded an open process to develop bipartisan health care reforms. Members of the Alliance strategic action network worked in concert to:

  • Participate in a network-wide daily action campaign in June and July
  • Serve as media spokespersons to generate local coverage on the issue
  • Meet with congressional offices to speak in support of reforms to create a preventive, fully-integrated system
  • Submit testimonials of Medicaid’s supporting role in assuring individuals, families, and communities can reach their full potential

With Medicaid reform remaining a focus of the majority party in Congress and significant federal programmatic budget cuts on the table for other social programs, your voice and that of others in the social sector, are necessary to bring to light the stories that illustrate the impact of these policies on individuals, families and communities. From the distinct position of working at the nexus of people, community and systems, leaders of community-based organizations need to give their congressional delegations information on the solutions for getting at the underlying causes of the problems that need to be addressed to allow the country’s health and human services systems to take a big leap forward in driving toward positive outcomes and bending the health care cost curve downward. One of the key takeaways from the flurry of recent activities to protect and improve health care, is that too many members of Congress are unaware of the role that human services, or the social sector, play in improving health outcomes.

To support the collective efforts of the strategic action network, the Alliance has just released new issue briefs that articulate the importance of policy reforms that achieve preventive, integrated systems and bolster prevention and early intervention across the lifespan:

The Alliance’s Office of Public Policy and Mobilization will be using these briefs, along with various other advocacy strategies, with Alliance member organizations to build and deepen relationships with congressional offices that are integral to an education effort that will lead to improved lives and a stronger national human services infrastructure.

Action by you and your organization is needed through the August congressional recess and beyond to help reframe the common understanding of the role you play in our nation’s collective progress and prosperity.

Email public policy and mobilization staff to learn more or get involved.

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