If you or (someone you love) has diabetes and you’re afraid of how the possible repeal of the ACA might affect you, you’re not alone. Millions of patients just like you are very concerned about what an ACA repeal would look like and what it could mean – and rightly so. It’s time we all share our personal story with Congress.
If you’re like the many who are wondering what they can do, consider telling your story to your local representative. It can be a powerful way to affect change if it’s done right. You can’t just use emotion, though; an effective story has to appeal to logic, political sense, and evidence, as well. Telling your story in a way that stirs emotions but makes a case, too, means you’ll stand a better chance of motivating your representative into action.
The Effective Elements of Your Story
On Facebook, it’s easy enough to share an emotional story or post a video that makes someone care about your cause. However, when you’re lobbying your representatives for change, especially when it relates to how people with diabetes will be impacted, there are a few more elements you’ll have to include.
While it can’t be the only factor, emotion is still important. Make your representative care about you as their constituent and as a person. Don’t be afraid to lay out exactly what you’ve been through, how it’s affected you and your family, and what your life might look like if this bill is repealed. Remind your representative that you are a constituent who is personally impacted by his or her work in Congress.
Draw a factual line between the repeal of the ACA and its effect on patients with diabetes. Mention things like the fact that the proposed plan to take its place could leave millions of people uninsured and without prescription coverage. Laying out the way in which the repeal of the ACA could directly cause this kind of situation gives your representative clear facts he or she can take to Congress.
While the American Health Care Act currently protects those with pre-existing conditions from obtaining coverage, if at any point you lose your insurance and you aren’t re-enrolled immediately, you will be penalized with a 30% increase in premiums.
Have an Idea
You might not be a politician, but the question might inevitably come up: if not this course of action, which? In this case, it’s relatively simple to make the case that the alternative action should be to wait until tbe Congressional Budget Office has released a full analysis and that Congress have a solid, actionable, well-laid plan for healthcare that could effectively replace the ACA without abandoning citizens in the process.
It doesn’t hurt anyone to wait, but it could hurt a lot of people to repeal it without a plan in place.
Appeal to Ethics
Finally, you should end with an appeal to ethics or moral judgment. Nobody wants to be on the wrong side of history, so if you can appeal to your rep’s moral reasoning and common sensibilities as a caring, compassionate human being, it adds a little more weight to what you’re saying. At the very least, it will make them just the slightest bit uncomfortable about turning you away, and that’s a good start.
Gathering Your Facts
Lost as to where to start searching? There are some great places you can go to gather your facts!
Check out your representatives’ websites. (DPAC has them listed by state on our DPAC Scorecard!) You can find out from their own site what they believe is best when it comes to health care as well as other topics and bills they have voted upon.
This is a matter of life and death, and it’s important that your representatives know that. By combining your story with facts and logic, you’ll be able to make a convincing case that your representative can take to Congress. It’s never been more important; act now while you still can.
DPAC Makes It Easy to Share Your Personal Story to Congress