If Your Elected Officials do not Hear About Issues, They Cannot Take Action on Them

Published in Women's Health on Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Breast Cancer Awareness season is upon us, and everywhere you turn, you see pink ribbons, hear about community events and fun runs, and see people with pink extensions in their hair to show their support. You’ve already prepared for the season by ordering additional awareness items and marketing, preparing, and arranging for your own in-store and community events. While you have increased traffic in your stores and increased visibility in your communities, you have a unique opportunity to mention the current legislation that matters to you and your business—whether it be the Breast Cancer Patient Equity Act, the Lymphedema Treatment Act, or the new bill that would provide Medicare coverage for wigs as DME.

How do you plan to make sure all your customers know about these issues? Make sure your staff members, including your receptionist, your customer service representative, your sales associate, and back office staff are well versed with the talking points. Ask your staff to pass out counter cards to each customer with information on the bills and how to take action. Better yet, have a tablet or computer available in store that customers can use to send emails to their representatives, asking them to sign onto the legislation. You can send emails about the custom breast prosthesis legislation at letherdecide.org.

Remember, if your elected officials do not hear about issues, they cannot take action on them. It’s so important that you build relationships with your senators and representatives so that the Breast Cancer Patient Equity Act, Lymphedema Treatment Act, and the wig bill can move more efficiently through the government.

In the office, we have a sign that reminds me everyday that everyone can assume something will just get done. But if everyone assumes that someone else will do it, there’s the possibility that no one will do it.

What went wrong? This is the story of four people:

Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.

There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought that Somebody would do it, but Nobody asked Anybody. It ended up that the job wasn’t done, and Everybody blamed Everybody when actually Nobody asked Anybody, and Anybody could have done it.

Don’t assume that someone will reach out to your legislators to ask them to cosponsor legislation that is important to your business. Even if someone has already reached out, there is strength in numbers. You have a unique story, and they want to hear how the legislation affects you. One voice is a whisper and many voices together are a roar. Make sure that your legislators hear the roar! Our government relations team has mentioned that it may take a legislator eight times to hear about an issue for them to take action.  If they haven’t signed onto the legislation, be persistent and make sure your clients tell their personal stories. Below is a list of legislators who have signed onto the Breast Cancer Patient Equity Act. If you don’t see your legislator, they have not signed on yet.

Advocacy can be daunting, but the Let Her Decide team is here to help you. In July, we launched a new advocacy tool, the Let Her Decide Toolkit. We know that it takes time to put together informational resources to display in your store and hand out to your customers. This toolkit provides informational pieces without having to visit your local copy store. The Let Her Decide Toolkit is $30 and contains the following items:

  • One 11x17 foam core sign
  • 60 counter cards with one master copy to print additional cards
  • 25 copies of the infographic that explains why this campaign is so important
  • Two selfie signs that you can use in store or at events

Go to essentiallywomen.com/letherdecidetoolkit for additional details or to place your order.

As always, if you have any questions about the Breast Cancer Patient Equity Act, the Let Her Decide campaign, or want assistance talking to your legislators, please contact Essentially Women at [email protected] or call us at 800-988-4484.

Current Legislators Signed-On In Support as of 8-9-19:

H.R. 1370 Cosponsors

  • Rep. Walorski, Jackie [R-IN-2]
  • Rep. Gaetz, Matt [R-FL-1]
  • Rep. Upton, Fred [R-MI-6]
  • Rep. Lewis, John [D-GA-5]
  • Rep. Finkenauer, Abby [D-IA-1]
  • Rep. Wasserman Schultz, Debbie [D-FL-23]
  • Rep. Kind, Ron [D-WI-3]
  • Rep. Barragan, Nanette Diaz [D-CA-44]
  • Rep. Rush, Bobby L. [D-IL-1]
  • Rep. Crist, Charlie [D-FL-13]
  • Rep. Gabbard, Tulsi [D-HI-2]
  • Rep. Clarke, Yvette D. [D-NY-9]
  • Rep. Cardenas, Tony [D-CA-29]
  • Rep. Suozzi, Thomas R. [D-NY-3]
  • Rep. Panetta, Jimmy [D-CA-20]
  • Rep. Kuster, Ann M. [D-NH-2]
  • Rep. Norton, Eleanor Holmes [D-DC-At Large]
  • Rep. Doggett, Lloyd [D-TX-35]
  • Rep. Hastings, Alcee L. [D-FL-20]
  • Rep. Loebsack, David [D-IA-2]
  • Rep. Mucarsel-Powell, Debbie [D-FL-26]
  • Rep. King, Steve [R-IA-4]
  • Rep. Axne, Cynthia [D-IA-3]
  • Rep. Thompson, Glenn [R-PA-15]
  • Rep. Pocan, Mark [D-WI-2]
  • Rep. Sewell, Terri A. [D-AL-7]
  • Rep. Bustos, Cheri [D-IL-17]
  • Rep. McGovern, James P. [D-MA-2]
  • Rep. Blunt Rochester, Lisa [D-DE-At Large]
  • Rep. Case, Ed [D-HI-1]
  • Rep. DelBene, Suzan K. [D-WA-1]
  • Rep. Kildee, Daniel T. [D-MI-5]
  • Rep. Kelly, Mike [R-PA-16]
  • Rep. Scanlon, Mary Gay [D-PA-5]

    S. 562 Cosponsors

  • Sen. Murkowski, Lisa [R-AK]
  • Sen. Klobuchar, Amy [D-MN]
  • Sen. Brown, Sherrod [D-OH]
  • Sen. Rosen, Jacky [D-NV]

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