By Amy Haddad
Director, Public Policy and Government Affairs
Following the November 2016 presidential election, AMCHP decided to hold an all-member call to, as we said then, "share initial non-partisan analysis of what we might expect regarding MCH budget priorities, the future of health reform, and other critical policy issues" and "share plans on how we hope to work with the new administration and leaders in Congress." It was meant to be a one-time opportunity to review the new landscape, but when several participants later suggested we hold these calls more often, AMCHP's monthly national policy calls were born! We are excited to have this new tool to AMCHP's policy repertoire for the benefit of our members.
Over the past year, we have had the opportunity to provide information and analysis of the latest goings-on in Washington. And while we may not have the same stockpile of dad jokes that our former director of policy, Brent Ewig, infused into our monthly calls, we sincerely hope you are finding the calls just as engaging! As I discussed in the last Pulse, 2017 was unpredictable. That has meant that preparation for these monthly calls often comes down to the wire – guessing in advance what may be the most pressing issue to cover in that month's call, while knowing that it can change at the drop of a hat (or a tweet), and trying to load up slides and materials before the call goes live. Our goal remains to help you wade through the – oftentimes chaotic and mixed – messaging coming from the halls of the legislative and executive branches to ensure you are informed.
As luck would have it, we often find our calls coinciding with important deadlines, debates, and decisions. Our May call occurred at the same time the House was voting on its version of Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal and replace to the point of providing vote tally updates during the call itself! Our September call occurred as the House was considering its version of FY18 appropriations, and our December call occurred the day before one of the (many) continuing resolutions expired. It's a wonder the shutdown didn't begin the day of our January 2018 call!
As we continue this call series in 2018, we look forward to (and humbly request!) greater audience participation to make sure we are covering all the topics that you want and need to know about as well as to use these calls as an opportunity to get feedback about what you are facing in your day to day work: How are the proposed policy changes we discuss affecting women, children, and their families on the state, local, and individual level?
We are excited to continue this monthly conversation with you and thank you for embarking on this project with us.