Last week, over 120 AOPA members came to Washington, D.C. to participate in the 2015 AOPA Policy Forum. This is the one time each year that AOPA members have the opportunity to join their colleagues and meet with their elected officials in Washington. Whether folks were participating for the first time or were seasoned veterans, the excitement in the air was palpable. AOPA’s message was strong and its members were ready to deliver it to their representatives and senators.
The two day program began with a “primer” day in which attendees heard from various speakers who offered hints on how to approach lawmakers and their staff regarding the issues at hand. Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) addressed the audience as the keynote speaker for day 1 and discussed the importance of actively participating in the legislative process. Several other presentations and discussion panels prepared the attendees for their congressional visits scheduled for the next day.
Day two began with remarks from Sen Charles Grassley (R-IA) who stressed the importance of lawmaker visits and the impact that they have as well as his strong belief in the O&P Medicare Improvements Act, a bill which he proudly serves as co-sponsor of. After Senator Grassley’s remarks, participants received their schedules and headed off to meet with their legislators,
Feed back on the visits was extremely positive as most Policy forum participants indicated that the lawmakers and staffers they met with were receptive to AOPA’s message.
AOPA’s Take on the 2015 Policy Forum is that it was an extremely successful event that put AOPA members directly in touch with their congressional representatives. As Senator Grassley reminded the attendees, the 1st amendment does not only guarantee freedom of speech, but also guarantees the right to “petition for a governmental redress of grievances.” Participation in the AOPA Policy Forum allowed folks to exercise that right and bring AOPA’s message directly to Capitol Hill. If you have not yet participated in an AOPA Policy Forum, next years event will be here sooner rather than later. Active participation in your government is crucial to the success of your O&P practice.
AOPA’s Take. Where you go……when you need to know!