CHA releases agenda that will guide its advocacy efforts during the 113th Congress

March 15, 2013

CHA updates its advocacy agenda every two years to coincide with the start of a new legislative session. The agenda is rooted in the ministry's vision for U.S. health care and is motivated by concern for the poor and vulnerable, and a belief in the dignity of all, from birth to natural death.

"CHA's legislative agenda preserves the fundamental advocacy priorities of the ministry and adapts them to the realities of the current Congress," said Michael Rodgers, CHA's senior vice president of advocacy and public policy. "We believe health care is a basic human right and that it should be delivered safely, and in a way that protects human dignity and provides the highest value and best outcomes. With this new agenda, the Catholic health ministry continues to champion the cause of the medically underserved and vulnerable.

"The Catholic health ministry is the largest not-for-profit provider of health care in the U.S. When CHA's Washington, D.C.-based advocacy staff join with advocates throughout the ministry to deliver a consistent message to legislators about our health care priorities, that message can and does influence the content of legislation and regulations," Rodgers said.

Rodgers called the passage of the Affordable Care Act a once in a generation achievement that will give up to 32 million uninsured Americans access to affordable health insurance through subsidized health insurance exchanges and Medicaid expansion. CHA's legislative agenda for the 113th Congress urges members of Congress to adequately fund the law and to improve upon it, for example, by providing insurance coverage for undocumented immigrants.

The agenda is online, and printed copies also are available through the Service Center on the association's website.

The agenda serves as a way to introduce new legislators and their staffs to CHA and to the Catholic health ministry, and it can be given to veteran lawmakers to remind them of the ministry's commitment and support for laws and programs that advance the health of individuals and communities.

To develop the agenda, CHA sought input from the advocacy staffs of its member systems and hospitals. That input informed the work of CHA's advocacy staff and the Advocacy and Public Policy Committee in crafting the document. CHA's Board of Trustees approved the agenda at its February meeting.

In addition to implementing and improving upon the Affordable Care Act, priorities outlined in the new agenda include:

  • Enhancing Medicaid and ensuring a strong safety net
  • Strengthening aging and chronic care services to ensure the best health outcomes
  • Ensuring conscience protections that allow the ministry to provide care consistent with the Catholic faith
  • Improving the health and well-being of communities by addressing social justice issues, including immigration reform, and by eliminating health care disparities related to race, ethnicity or socioeconomic status.

CHA staff and ministry members will distribute the new agenda on visits to Capitol Hill scheduled to coincide with CHA's legislative advocacy conference March 21-22, in Washington.


Copyright © 2013 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3477.

Copyright © 2013 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States

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