Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Developmental Disabilities Providers Gather on Capitol Hill

By: Renee Naylor, Chair of the AHCA Developmental Disabilities (DD) Committee
Renee Naylor with U.S. Representative 
Mike Simpson. 

This week, developmental and intellectual disabilities care providers will gather in Washington, D.C. at the annual DD Fly In. The Fly In is a chance for providers to get together, receive Capitol Hill training, and talk one-on-one with Members of Congress.

For the past 3 years that I’ve attended the Fly In, I’ve always walked away with something new. Last year, I had the opportunity to visit with Members of Congress, such as Mike Simpson, from Idaho.  During my visit, Representative Simpson and I were able to talk in depth about the Medicaid crisis our nation is facing, and the impact it could have on one of the most vulnerable populations who rely heavily upon Medicaid for necessary service and supports - those individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Each year, AHCA’s annual DD Fly In gives me the opportunity to share my professional and personal experience with those who represent us in Congress, one-on-one. These visits are vital to keep our legislators knowledgeable of the real life impact their decisions have. As service providers and family members, we must advocate on behalf of those individuals we serve.  This fly-in gives us the opportunity to do just that. 

This year promises to be another full day for care providers. The program will kick off with a special presentation by former Congressman Earl Pomeroy, who will speak on effective lobbying for DD services providers, followed by a panel discussion from Congressional staffers. We’ll then get a refresher on the latest issues facing DD Services providers and wrap up the morning with a Capitol Hill Update. Then it’s off to the Hill, with visits extending into the afternoon.

If you’re attending the DD Fly In, let us know in the comments section and tweet using the DD Fly In hashtag, #MedicaidDD.

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