by Andrew Mangione
Another busy week in Washington is in the books. With 15 meetings conducted over the span of four days, AMAC covered a lot of Congressional ground and forged new strategic relationships with offices vital to promoting our mission.
These meetings on Capitol Hill continue to yield valuable results and reveal myriad ways in which AMAC can work with specific members of Congress to promote important legislation and to protect the interests of mature Americans and seniors. Just like our 1.1 million members, members of Congress and their staffs are excited to learn that a viable, conservative alternative to AARP exists and is making a difference at both the Federal and District levels. The opportunities for collaboration with Congress are endless, and we’re able to tailor our support for offices based on the particular needs and concerns of their constituencies.
Not surprisingly, many of the same issues that concern AMAC members also trouble lawmakers – who are desperate for new, fresh ideas to the problems afflicting our nation. AMAC is regularly applauded for taking the lead on these issues and bringing innovative ideas to the table. From the solvency of Social Security to real health care reform, AMAC is out front leading the charge and working with Congress to achieve sustainable results.
Our constant, active presence in Washington enables us to stay abreast of the political issues that pertain to our membership. This week, I was able to personally observe the Energy and Commerce’s Health Subcommittee’s hearing on Medicare Advantage (MA). For several weeks now, AMAC has been closely monitoring what Congress has been saying about how ObamaCare will impact the future of this important program. Testimonies from expert witnesses – combined with insight from Congressional leaders with medical expertise – divulged startling information and confirmed that $25.4 billion will be stripped from MA in 2014 alone.
To our members, and on behalf of many other mature Americans across the country, AMAC has already pledged to combat these funding cuts at the Federal level and to continue to educate lawmakers about the popular, robust benefit that is Medicare Advantage. As part of what will certainly be an ongoing effort to defend MA, an AMAC letter of support for the Cassidy-Barrow initiative was submitted to the Congressional Record and can be viewed on our website and Facebook page. The Cassidy-Barrow initiative – which has garnered the bipartisan support of more than 80 members of Congress – urges the Majority and Minority leaders of the House of Representatives to protect MA from detrimental program cuts in budget negotiations slated to occur in 2014.
While the road to achieving our legislative goals may be hard and long, our principles have been worth fighting for every step of the way! AMAC has made significant strides in Washington, despite the relatively short amount of time we’ve been engaging with elected leaders on the Hill. Our rapid membership growth over the course of the last year has propelled us to previously unthinkable heights, and we plan to ride that wave of momentum into the New Year.
Thank you for clearly charting our advocacy course in Washington. We will never stop relying on our members for guidance when it comes to the daily decisions we make and to the issues we take to our nation’s capital.