Contact Iowa Senators!

As a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Iowa Chapter, we are asking you to engage in two Days of Action to protect Medicaid; tomorrow June 15 and next Thursday, June 22. The Senate is considering a health care bill as we speak that could be introduced any day and passed by the fourth of July recess. Since the process has not been transparent, we don’t yet know the final bill they’re proposing, but what we do know is that Medicaid is at risk, and now is the time to speak out.

Please join the Iowa Chapter Board of Directors in these two days of action to call your U.S. senators and urge them to vote “no” on any proposal that cuts or caps Medicaid funding in any way. Doing so would jeopardize the way the program works now to effectively cover 37 million children, and would leave children and families worse off.

Here is how you can help on June 15 and June 22. Below we offer easy ways to contact Senator Grassley and Senator Ernst to make our Iowa pediatrician voices heard. Thank you in advance for joining us in this call to action!

What You Can Do
Call, call, call.
Right now is a critical window to influence the Senate health care proposal and the most effective way to do so at this point in the process is with phone calls. Each call is logged and the net effect is for Senators to get the message that their constituents feel strongly about protecting Medicaid.

Share your story. Use social media to share why Medicaid matters to you and your patients. Follow us at @IAAAP and be sure to use the hashtag #DontCapMyCare & #KeepKidsCovered

Spread the word. Email your colleagues and urge them to join you in inundating the Senate on the Days of Action, June 15th and June 22nd, with phone calls. There is power in numbers to stop harmful Medicaid proposals from being included in the final bill, but we need every voice chiming in together.

How to Call Your Senators & What to Say

Start with their DC office and if you can’t get through, try the district office closest to where you live. Don’t be nervous – simply follow the script below to the staff member answering the phone. It truly can make an impact with each call!

Senator Joni Ernst, DC: (202) 224-3254
District Office Numbers:
Des Moines: (515) 284-4574
Davenport: (563) 322- 0677
Cedar Rapids: (319) 365- 4504
Sioux City: (712) 252-1550
Council Bluffs: (712)352-1167

Senator Chuck Grassley, DC: (202) 224-3744
District Office Numbers:
Des Moines: (515) 288-1145
Davenport: (563) 322-4331
Cedar Rapids: (319) 363-6832
Sioux City: (712) 233-1860
Council Bluffs: (712) 322-7103
Waterloo: (319) 232-6657

Telephone Script
I am pediatrician from Iowa and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. I am calling today to urge {Senator’s name} to oppose any funding cuts or caps to Medicaid in your health care bill.

Medicaid covers children from low-income families and children with special health care needs. It’s a lifeline program for 234,000 children in our state. Children make up 51.1% of Iowa’s Medicaid population.

I am deeply concerned with any proposal to cut or cap federal funding for Medicaid in any way. Doing so would shift costs to states, likely leading to enrollment and benefit cuts, and leaving children worse off.

Insert brief anecdote if you have one of a patient on Medicaid who would be impacted

Through Medicaid, children are guaranteed benefits that cover a comprehensive array of medically necessary services, including developmental, vision and hearing screenings. Pediatricians recommend these services because they help diagnose, treat and prevent complex conditions right away, saving money and lives. Capping Medicaid funding means these services could be rolled back or eliminated altogether.

In addition, Medicaid expansion allowed many previously uninsured parents to gain coverage, making them better able to care for their children. Any efforts to cap Medicaid funding or phase out Medicaid expansion would be devastating to children and their families.

Please protect children’s health care coverage and oppose any funding cuts or caps to Medicaid in any health care bill you consider.

Thank you for all you do for children.

Share Messages on Social Media

Use These Hash Tags
#DontCapMyCare & #KeepKidsCovered
Join the Iowa Chapter on June 15 and June 22 by sharing messages on social media. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, share and retweet or post your own messages and stories! Below are some key handles, hashtags and some sample posts.

AAP Handles to follow: @IAAAP, @AmerAcadPeds, @AAPPres, @DrRemleyAAP

Iowa Senator Handles: @SenJoniErnst, @ChuckGrassley

Make sure to use .@ if you are beginning your tweet with the Senator’s Twitter handle, as indicated below.

Sample Messages

.@SenJoniErnst: Medicaid gives IAkids a better chance for a healthy future. #DontCapMyCare

.@ChuckGrassley: Medicaid gives IAkids a better chance for a healthy future. #DontCapMyCare

.@SenJoniErnst: I’m a pediatrician & my patients have one message: #DontCapMyCare. Keep Medicaid strong & #KeepKidsCovered!

.@ChuckGrassley: I’m a pediatrician & my patients have one message: #DontCapMyCare. Keep Medicaid strong & #KeepKidsCovered!

Medicaid matters for children. @SenJoniErnst #DontCapMyCare. Protect Medicaid in your health care bill.

Medicaid matters for children. @ChuckGrassley #DontCapMyCare. Protect Medicaid in your health care bill.

Additional Resources

Data
State fact sheets summarizing children’s coverage with state-specific data

Rural health report from the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute Center for Children and Families highlighting the importance of Medicaid in covering children in rural communities

Media Coverage
Recently published pediatrician op-eds:

An op-ed in the Charleston Gazette-Mail by John R. Phillips, MD, FAAP: Saving Medicaid means saving WV kids’ lives

An op-ed in the Dallas Morning News by Valerie Borum Smith, MD, FAAP: Cuts to Medicaid would badly damage care in rural Texas

An op-ed on com by Dipesh Navsaria, MPH, MSLIS, MD, FAAP: Privately insured? What happens to Medicaid affects you too

An article in USA Today outlining the impacts of the bill on child health