You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

You are using an outdated browser.

To ensure optimal security, this website will soon be unavailable on this browser. Please upgrade your browser to allow continued use of ACP websites.

You are here

Public Policy & Advocacy

 

Advocacy Day Online

We would like to share videos of the presentations from our March 17 Advocacy Day Online event featuring discussion on important legislation at the State House. Our event featured a talk from Dr. Stephanie Woolhandler, an internist and national expert on single-payer healthcare systems. It also featured discussion on legislation eliminating the religious exemption for vaccination, addressing high prescription drug costs, and encouraging treatment of substance use disorder by ensuring that a person on probation with substance use disorder would not be re-incarcerated for relapse if that is the only infraction.

Given COVID-19, any legislation that is not COVID-19 related has been put on hold for now, but we will keep you posted as legislation starts to move forward, potentially in May. In the meantime, you may view these videos to learn more about these important issues.

We welcome you to reach out to us with concerns you may have related to your practice and COVID-19. In particular, we are looking to know if your practice is financially struggling as we will share this information with national ACP to help advocate for additional financial support for physicians.

Elisa I. Choi, MD, FACP, FIDSA, Governor, MA Chapter
Zoe Tseng, MD, FACP, Co-Chair, Health and Public Policy Committee

Aisha James, MD, Co-Chair, Health and Public Policy Committee
Stephanie Titus, MD, Co-Chair, Advocacy Day Planning Subcommittee

Agenda Plus Leave Behinds
Advocacy Day Leave Behind
Issues Leave Behind with Phone and Email Templates

 

Action Alert: S.3599/H.R.6788 Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act

Dear MA ACP members,

We are writing to ask you to take action to ensure Congress passes S.3599/H.R.6788, the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act. This bill would increase the number of visas available for international medical graduates (IMGs). This innovative legislation would authorize immigrant visas for health care clinicians, including up to 15,000 for physicians who are eligible to practice in the United States or are already in the country on temporary work visas. The visas would provide a pathway to employment-based green cards and, in doing so, it would quickly address one of the health care system’s most pressing needs. IMGs fill critical gaps in care that are especially imperative during the COVID-19 pandemic. They often work in underserved and rural areas to meet their waiver requirements before applying for permanent resident status.

MA ACP has put a joint statement along with Massachusetts Medical Society in support of this legislation. We urge you to contact Congress today to pass S.3599/H.R.6788 as part of an additional COVID-19 legislative stimulus package.

To make this as easy as possible, we have provided email and phone call templates below that you can adapt. Phone calls can be more effective than emails but any outreach to your legislator is important.

Thank you for your advocacy on behalf of all of our physician colleagues and patients in Massachusetts.

Sincerely,

Aisha James MD
Zoe Tseng, MD, FACP
Co-Chairs, Massachusetts ACP Chapter Health and Public Policy Committee

Shela Sridhar, MD
Chair, Immigrant and Refugee Health Subcommittee of the Massachusetts ACP Chapter Health and Public Policy Committee

Elisa Choi, MD, FACP, FIDSA
Governor, Massachusetts ACP Chapter

Which Legislators to Contact

None of the MA Congressional Representatives have co-sponsored the bill and only Senator Markey is a co-sponsor. Please contact your Representative, Senator Warren, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Search for your representative and their contact info:
https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative

Search for your senator and their contact info:
https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact

Here is a list of the bill co-sponsors:
Senate: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/3599/cosponsors
House: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/6788/cosponsors

Email Template:

Dear [insert Senator or Representative] [insert name],

I am an internal medicine physician practicing in [insert town] and a member of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American College of Physicians (ACP). Our chapter represents 4,200 physicians across Massachusetts and we are the largest medical specialty organization with 159,000 members worldwide.

I am writing to request you to cosponsor the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act (S.3599/HR.6788), which is a bipartisan legislation introduced in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. This bill is crucial to addressing the healthcare worker shortage and can save lives in the fight against this devastating pandemic.

It proposes to expedite green card processing for 15,000 doctors and 25,000 nurses by recapturing unused visas from previous fiscal years, without displacing American workers. This addition of 40,000 frontline workers into the active healthcare pool would help strengthen our debilitated healthcare system, which has been experiencing an ever-mounting physician shortage. The flexibility that comes with permanent residency would allow immigrant doctors and nurses to be deployed to hard-hit and underserved areas in case of a public health emergency like that we are facing today.

[Insert personal story. For example: Your experience as an IMG physician or colleagues who are IMG physicians.]

ACP urges Congress to pass S.3599/HR.6788 as part of any additional COVID-19 legislative stimulus package. By taking such action, Congress would ensure that the nation’s health care workforce needs are met. The legislation would accomplish this by addressing joint workforce needs that have grown all the more critical, not only as a consequence of the increased number of physicians required to treat COVID-19 patients, but also those necessary to stand in for the physicians who have unfortunately contracted COVID-19 themselves and are unable to continue to serve in the workforce.

In conclusion, the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act, S. 3599, is a smart, bipartisan approach to the physician and nursing workforce shortage – both long and short term - that draws on an untapped resource. It would help save countless lives in these unprecedented times. Thank you in advance for considering this bill, which is very much the need of the hour as our overwhelmed healthcare workforce trudges its way forward into the uncertain times ahead. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

[Insert your name]
Address
Telephone number

Phone Call Template

Hello,

I am an internal medicine physician practicing in [insert town] and a member of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American College of Physicians (ACP). Our chapter represents 4,200 physicians across Massachusetts and we are the largest medical specialty organization with 159,000 members worldwide.

I am calling to ask [Insert Senator or Representative with name] to co-sponsor the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act [S.3599 for Senate bill and HR.6788 for House bill), a bipartisan legislation introduced in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which aims at expediting green card processing for 15,000 doctors and 25,000 nurses by recapturing unused visas from previous fiscal years, without displacing American workers. If passed, this bill would lift work visa related restrictions and would enable IMG physicians and nurses to be deployed to areas that have been hard-hit by the pandemic. It would also save IMG physicians like [me or my colleagues] who are risking our lives to serve the American public from visa related insecurities like deportation of dependent family members if we lose employment due to disability or death.

Therefore, I urge Congress to pass S.3599/HR.6788 as part of any additional COVID-19 legislative stimulus package. Please feel free to contact me at [email/phone] should you need any additional information. Thank you for your time.

H.1343/S.937 An Act Relative to Treatment, not Imprisonment – Lisa Simon, DMD

 

Addressing Prescription Drug Costs - Alyssa Vangeli, Health Care For All, Co-Director, Policy and Government Relations

 

H.3999 An Act Relative to Vaccinations and Public Health – Representative Andres Vargas (3rd Essex); Robert Goldstein, MD, PhD, Infectious Disease, Massachusetts General Hospital

 

Physician Advocacy for Medicare-for-All – Stephanie Woolhandler, MD

 

How to Talk to Legislators – Zoe Tseng, MD, FACP

Video “Lobbying: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly” produced by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

https://bit.ly/3cvta3R

 


MISSION:

Our mission is to advocate for policy that improves the quality and effectiveness of health care in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and that promotes the practice of medicine.

The committee has 25-30 members that meet at least quarterly to discuss policy issues and advocate for them through various efforts including speaking with legislators and providing education to Chapter members, policy makers, and the general public.

We currently have five subcommittees: Advocacy Day at the State House, Advocacy Education, Immigrant and Refugee Health, Opioid Use Disorder, and Prescription Drug Costs.

  • Advocacy Day - This subcommittee is responsible for organizing Advocacy Day at the State House, including selecting legislation and speakers. They also organize the meetings between participating members and their state legislators to discuss important legislation.
  • Advocacy Education - This subcommittee is dedicated to bringing training in various advocacy skills to chapter members. Our goal is for members to feel well-equipped to tackle issues affecting their patients and practice through various forms of advocacy.
  • Immigrant & Refugee Health - This subcommittee is focused on improving the healthcare of our immigrant and refugee patients through education and advocacy.
  • Opioid Use Disorder - This subcommittee is focused on addressing the opioid epidemic by increasing access to care through education and advocacy.
  • Prescription Drug Cost - This subcommittee is focused on addressing rising prescription drug costs and its impact on patient care through advocacy.

HIGHLIGHTS:

The Prescription Drug Pricing subcommittee has been working closely with Senator Montigny to advocate for prescription drug price transparency legislation at the State House. They provided testimony at the State House in July 2017 on the impact of rising prescription drug costs on patients and published an op-ed on KevinMD.com in November 2017 advocating for the State Senate to support stronger provisions in legislation on prescription drug costs.

The opioid use disorder committee organized a CME program on May 8, 2018 “You Can Do It: Buprenorphine Prescribing in Primary Care,” which presented multiple viewpoints on prescribing buprenorphine in primary care and different models of care that can make it successful and rewarding.

 


    Advocacy Resources

    Learn more about ACP’s advocacy work including stances on key health policy issues. 

    Get involved! Join the Advocates for Internal Medicine Network (AIMn) or attend the annual Leadership Day in Washington, D.C.

    Stay informed:

    Hear Dr. Dan Levy's interview with his local NPR station and read our chapter's Ten Priorities for Payment and Practice Reform with a Focus on Primary Care: A Policy Statement.

    Massachusetts Contacts


     




       

      ACP Advocacy Resources

      Where the College Stands on key health policy issues, news and recent policy changes.

      Visit Legislative Action Center for more information about the new Advocates for Internal Medicine Network (AIMn) and the Richard Neubauer Advocate for Internal Medicine Award.

      State Health Policy Pages

      Home Page
      Hot Topics