Advocate Toolkit

Easy steps to take now!

Thanks for becoming a TAHC&H Advocate! Until you receive the next action alert via email,  we have laid out some easy ways to put advocacy in action below. We hope you tell your coworkers to sign up as a TAHC&H Advocate as well! 

1) Know the names of your state and federal legislators. Find them here, print it out and post somewhere you will see often (like at your desk)!

2) Reach out to your legislative offices. Call the district offices of your member of Congress, state representative, and state senator, then introduce yourself as a constituent and offer to be a resource on health care issues.

3) Watch this free webinar by the Congressional Management Foundation. Learn strategies to have an effective meeting with an office holder.

4) Sign up for email newsletters from legislative offices, state agencies and candidate campaigns. These will keep you current on the political climate, policy priorities and events across Texas.

5) Attend a campaign event, town hall, or other community events where your legislator will be. Legislators often hold town halls, coffee breaks, or maintain office hours in order to stay engaged with constituents. On the campaign trail, candidates often attend several events a day including fundraisers, block walking or phone banking with campaign volunteers, and other community events.

6) Follow your elected officials on Twitter and Facebook. Retweet any pro healthcare or home health tweets! Try @TAHCH and @TAHCH_PAC also! #goodjob

 


A group of TAHC&H advocates rallying on the front steps of the Texas Capitol in April 2015.

Legislative visits


TAHCH members from Foundation Management Services on a legislative visit in Washington DC.

Scheduling a legislative visit, where a constituent meets with their state or federal representative to discuss home health services and policy priorities, is the most effective step you can take towards promoting and protecting home health services. While TAHC&H schedules state and federal lobby days each year for group visits, we encourage advocates to build upon those connections with their legislators in-district.

How to schedule
Call or email the legislative office, speak with the scheduler, and ask for appointment availability in-district. Let TAHC&H know about the upcoming visit and we can help you tailor talking points.

What to talk about
Legislators want to know about the services you provide and your agency's footprint in their district.
Bring a copy of TAHC&H legislative priorities, a one-pager on a specific issue that affects you, and anecdotes of patients you serve in their district (photos, testimonial, documents).
Avoid using too much healthcare policy jargon and keep it high level.
Also, know the committees the legislator serves on and their political party to tailor your talking points. For example, do not speak poorly of the Affordable Care Act when speaking to a Democratic Congressman; conversely, be careful of bringing up Medicaid expansion to a Texas Republican.

Follow up
Send a hand written note or an email to the legislator at their office thanking them for their time. You can also invite them on a home visit. We recommend you keep in touch with their office every few months by attending a town hall, writing a letter, helping their campaign, or inviting them to your office/on a home visit/to a pro-home care event.

Please remember to tell TAHC&H about your visit here or by emailing governmentaffairs@tahch.org! It is very important the association knows about relationships between legislators and their constituent members of TAHC&H.

Facts your legislator wants to know

  • Where you live, where you work, and what services you provide.

  • How many clients you serve in their district. The more specific you can be about the number of people you serve and where, the better.

  • How many people your agency employs in their district. This helps to detail your agency's economic footprint in their district.

  • Ask how much they already know about home care or hospice.  Many legislators know little but some may have personal or professional experiences to inform them.

  • Describe your typical patient or client.

  • Mention that the types of home care services provided under Medicaid versus Medicare are different (hospice being the exception). Regardless of the payment source for your clients, home care and hospice improves the quality of life of patients by retaining them in a lower-cost setting with the people and things they love.

  • Home care has the potential to save the state and federal government money by reducing re-admissions, especially for chronically-ill patients, and assisting in care coordination.

  • Talk about what you know. Discuss the potential impact of rules and legislation on the people you serve.

  • Share success stories to illustrate the value of home care and hospice.


Congressman Lamar Smith visits All County Home Care & Hospice after taking action on a TAHC&H issue.

Advocacy events

TAHC&H has various advocacy events throughout the year for members. Events to look out for are Lobby Days at our Texas and US Capitols, quarterly Government Affairs Committee meetings (open to all TAHC&H members), hearings for stakeholder testimony, and advocacy trainings throughout Texas!

Upcoming events
Kick off Lobby Day
Legislative Reception
Therapy Day at the Capitol
Community Care Day at the Capitol
March on Washington

Previous events


Sen. Royce West visits the Advocacy Summit in Dallas (January 2016).


Rep. Sylvester Turner speaks out against rate cuts to Medicaid pediatric therapy at the Texas Capitol (April 2015).

TAHC&H members at an educational barbecue in Washington, DC (March 2015).

Addressing an elected official

Now that you understand the issues, know your legislator, are you ready to write a letter or social media post promoting a TAHC&H policy priority? Great! Use the below guide to be sure you are using the proper format. Remember to contact the official office for legislative and policy comments.

U.S. President
President Donald Trimp
Dear President Trump:
Official contact
w: whitehouse.gov
t: @whitehouse or @potus
f: facebook.com/whitehouse
Personal contact
w: donaldjtrump.com
t: @realDonaldTrump
f: facebook.com/donaldtrump

Vice President Mike Pence
Dear Vice President Pence:
Official contact
w: whitehouse.gov
t: @VP
f: facebook.com/vicepresidentbiden

U.S. Senate
The Honorable John Cornyn
Dear Senator Cornyn:
Official contact
w: cornyn.senate.gov
t: @JohnCornyn
f :facebook.com/sen.johncornyn
Campaign contact
w: johncornyn.com
t: @TeamCornyn
f: facebook.com/johncornyn

The Honorable Ted Cruz
Dear Senator Cruz:
Official contact
w: cruz.senate.gov
t: @sentedcruz
f: facebook.com/senatortedcruz
Campaign contact
w: tedcruz.org
t: @tedcruz
f: facebook.com/tedcruzpage

U.S. House of Representatives
The Honorable First Last
Dear Congressman/Congresswoman Last:
               -or-
Dear Chairman/Chairwoman* Last:
*If the member is the chair of a House Committee.
Official contact
w: house.gov
Directory of members

Ways and Means Committee
The Honorable Kevin Brady, Chair
w: official website

Energy and Commerce Committee
w: official website

Appropriations Committee
w: official website

Governor
The Honorable Greg Abbott
Dear Governor Abbott:
Official contact
w: gov.texas.gov
t: @GovAbbott
f: facebook.com/texasgovernor
Campaign contact
w: gregabbott.com
t: @GregAbbott_TX 
f: facebook.com/TexansforAbbott

Lieutenant Governor
The Honorable Dan Patrick
Dear Lt. Governor Dan Patrick:
Official contact
w: ltgov.state.tx.us
t: @LtGovTx
Campaign contact
w: danpatrick.org
t: @danpatrick
f: facebook.com/danpatrick

Texas Senate
The Honorable First Last
Dear Senator Last:
w: senate.state.tx.us

Committee on Health & Human Services
The Honorable Charles Schwertner, Chair
The Honorable Lois Kolkhorst, Vice-Chair
w: Official website

Committee on Finance
The Honorable Jane Nelson, Chair
The Honorable Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, Vice-Chair
w: Official website

Committee on Administration
The Honorable Kelly Hancock, Chair
The Honorable Carlos Uresti, Vice-Chair
w: Official website

Texas House of Representatives
The Honorable First Last
Dear Representative Last:
w: house.state.tx.us

Speaker of the House
The Honorable Joe Strauss
Dear Representative Strauss:
w: official website

Human Services Committee
The Honorable Richard Raymond, Chair
The Honorable Toni Rose, Vice-Chair
w: official website

Appropriations Committee
The Honorable John Otto, Chair
Vacant, Vice-Chair
w: official website

Subcommittee on Article II
The Honorable Four Price, Chair
The Honorable Dawnna Dukes, Vice-Chair
w: official website