ADVOCACY FOR YOUR PROFESSION, YOUR PRACTICE AND YOUR PATIENTS
Being a good constituent, just like practicing medicine, requires skill and practice. There’s art and science to building a relationship with policymakers at the local, state and federal levels.
How do you become a good constituent?
Read your medical association communications leading up to and during the state legislative session. Or, keep abreast of what’s happening on a local or national level.
Improve your grassroots skills.
Consider attending a skills course. Often offered by specialty and local or state medical societies, these are great opportunities to refresh your memory about how a bill becomes a law, key jurisdictional committees, tips and strategies for developing a relationship with your parish, state or national legislators, and how to position yourself as a resource to policymakers on key medical issues.
Know your legislators.
To determine who your state legislators are, input your home address using this link: https://www.legis.la.gov/legis/FindMyLegislators.aspx.
For a national level, to determine your Congressman: https://www.house.gov/htbin/findrep.
To determine your senator, use this link: https://www.senate.gov/senators/index.htm
Serve on the Medical Association of Southeast Louisiana’s Legislative & Regulatory Committee.
Soon to be developed, this committee will determine appropriate ways to support LSMS’s Legislative & Regulatory Agenda at the state level, and will discuss proposed legislation and/or regulations on a local, state or national level which are needed or which are not in the best interests of patients and/or physicians.
Become familiar with and conversant in LSMS’ 2021 Legislative Agenda.
This agenda was developed through direction from LSMS’ House of Delegates and includes public health, practice, tort reform, health care financing, scope of practice, health insurance, and health care financing issues. Share what LSMS is advocating for with your colleagues!
Act when you receive a legislative alert.
From time to time LSMS and/or MASELA will send out a legislative alert on a particular bill which LSMS either supports or opposes. Make sure you know the talking points about why the particular bill is supported or opposed.
Become a key contact through MASELA which enables you to be assigned to a delegate or senator from your district.
By developing a relationship with his legislator(s) throughout the year, your legislator will recognize you as a resource on a variety of medical and nonmedical issues during the session. Pay attention to the legislator’s committee assignment because it could be a committee of jurisdiction over medical issues. Even if the legislator doesn’t serve on a jurisdictional committee, every vote counts on the floor!
Consider contributing to the Louisiana Medical PAC.
This helps to ensure that candidates who are supportive of Medicine and who are fighting to protect the interests of Louisiana physicians and their patients are elected or re-elected.
Attend or Host a Campaign Fundraiser.
Legislators appreciate your engagement in legislative affairs. Being able to put a name with a face by attending or hosting a campaign fundraiser goes a long way to demonstrating your support for a candidate who supports Medicine’s agenda.
Like Nike says, “JUST DO IT!” Being involved takes time, talent and resources. Every physician has one or more of these to give. Get involved. Start at the beginning. Do a few things on this list to reap rewards FOR you and your patients.
The 2021 Regular Legislative Session will convene at noon on Monday, April 12, 2021
For more information, please email MASELA at email@example.com or call 504.302.1900.