Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) today delivered a familiar message to supporters of the ASHP-PAC. This time, however, the congresswoman provided evidence that her message — “engage with your member of Congress” — can produce the desired result.
“I support H.R. 592, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act,” DeGette said in her video speech at the ASHP-PAC Donor Luncheon during the ASHP Summer Meetings and Exhibition in Denver.
Three years ago in Denver, DeGette had told ASHP-PAC supporters that the “number one thing that impacts the members of Congress is what they hear from their constituents.”
Today, the 11-term congresswoman said passage of H.R. 592 into law “would truly be life-changing” for Medicare Part B beneficiaries with chronic ailments who live in medically underserved areas.
The legislation, which has bipartisan support, calls for the recognition of pharmacists as a provider of Medicare Part B–covered services in certain circumstances.
DeGette signed on as a cosponsor less than six weeks after introduction of the legislation on January 20, 2017.
She told ASHP-PAC supporters that more than 300 ASHP members live in her district, which includes Denver.
ASHP Director of Government Relations Joseph Hill ascribed DeGette’s support of the legislation to two actions taken by ASHP members in her district: an in-person meeting with DeGette or her staff at the Denver District Office and “continued messaging.”
“It’s not uncommon at all to hear someone say ‘no’ at first and then you keep pushing, you keep on message, and you ... gradually change their mind,” Hill said after the luncheon. “So, I think it’s just persistence that helped to pay off in this case.”
In keeping with the location of the Summer Meetings and Exhibition, the luncheon had an Old West theme, he said.
“We’ve all been deputized to support the PAC and to support its mission," Hill said.
The more than 100 ASHP members at the luncheon received a deputy's pin in their gift bag.