Advocacy efforts have been underway for several years now in Missouri and Kansas to expand coverage of Medicaid. Through my work at safety net clinic Mercy and Truth Medical Missions, I see individuals every week that are not covered under the plan, and they struggle to cover the cost of a co-pay to see a doctor or a nurse practitioner.
That’s why advocacy is important.
Advocacy is about influencing the lawmakers and informing them of where you stand on the issues. This can be challenging. I’ve had some appointments with lawmakers that have made me want to weep with frustration. And, some have developed into friendships. But you have to keep going and working so that the legislators understand how they can assist the people your organization serves.
Here are 12 steps I’ve learned about building relationships while we’ve been advocating for Medicaid expansion:
Advocacy work can be challenging, but can also be so rewarding. The one thing that always encourages me is when I remember that I’m speaking for the thousands of our patients who can’t make a trip to the Capitol, yet they need the services that would be provided by Medicaid expansion.
I have a picture of one of our patients on my phone who had a baby about a year ago. I went to visit her in the hospital. She was blessed to be on Medicaid, so she did not have to worry about her care or the care her newborn would receive. I keep that picture to remind myself that I’m fighting for them!
Thank you all for advocating and taking the time to make a difference in someone’s life.
By Anne F. Rauth, MBA on April 11, 2019
Marketing and Development Director
Mercy and Truth Medical Missions