Ministry advocates promote expanded health care coverage

December 1, 2015

More than 80 representatives from Catholic health systems and hospitals paid more than 100 visits to members of Congress and their staffs during CHA's annual Catholic Legislative Advocacy Conference, Nov. 5-6 in Washington, D.C. Participants urged senators, representatives and their staffs to expand health coverage and protect Medicare and Medicaid benefits.

Participants also heard updates on policy issues and legislation. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., updated attendees on the Care Planning Act, which would provide a new benefit under Medicare to cover planning services for people with advanced illnesses. They also listened to Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., who introduced and co-sponsored the Mental Health Reform Act of 2015. Murphy updated members about efforts in Congress to enact mental health reform legislation.

Tarry Hodges, left, director of government relations for St. Joseph's/Candler Health in Savannah, Ga., and Michael Rodgers, right, CHA's senior vice president of advocacy and public policy, welcome Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., chair of the Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs and the Senate Select Committee on Ethics. Isakson spoke at the 2015 CHA Catholic Legislative Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C., on a bill he sponsored called the Care Planning Act, which would fund a Medicare benefit for a team-based approach to care planning discussions with health care professionals for people with advanced illnesses.
Tonya Wells, left, vice president of federal public policy and advocacy for Trinity Health West Midwest Group, and Corey Surber, right, executive director of community health and public policy for Saint Alphonsus Health System in Boise, Idaho, meet with Sen. Michael Crapo, R-Idaho, of the Senate Finance Committee.
Anne Dwyer, left, health counsel for the Senate Finance Committee, and Lisa Grabert, staff member of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, report to participants about challenges facing funding for Medicare and Medicaid.
Rep. Ryan Costello, R-Pa., speaks with Sr. Janet Henry, RSM, vice president of mission and ministry for Penn State Health St. Joseph in Reading, Pa., outside the Capitol.
Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., updates conference participants on mental health reform legislation. Deb Fischer-Clemens is senior vice president of the Avera Center for Public Policy and a member of CHA's Board of Trustees.
Thom Prevette, far left, director of advocacy and community affairs for Bon Secours Virginia in Norfolk, Va., and James Dunn, middle left, Bon Secours Virginia's vice president of advocacy and community affairs, meet with Rep. Robert Scott, D-Va., right, and his legislative assistant, Amanda Armstrong.


Copyright © 2015 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3477.

Copyright © 2015 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States

For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3490.