Those who attended the AOPA Policy Forum March 12-13 started the effort in their Congressional visits to persuade their Representatives to sign-on to a letter from Rep Duckworth (D-IL) and Rep. Guthrie (R-KY) to HHS Secretary Sebelius expressing concerns about CMS audit procedures. A follow-up campaign, by directed at the entire AOPA membership, generated action by 1,270 members who sent emails to 380 Congressional offices.
While the goal as always in this kind of effort was to get every one of the 435 offices on the House side of Capitol Hill to sign-on, the campaign did achieve excellent results with thirty-five Representatives joining the sign-on effort. Several members of Congress opted to author their own letter and asked AOPA for a draft. That reflects a policy of some lawmakers to not join “sign-on” efforts to make sure they control the message and not be in a position to have something attributed to them that may come back and haunt them in a future campaign.
Another mark of success is the bipartisan nature of the support with 19 Democrats and 16 Republicans joining in voicing their concerns.
In addition to Rep. Guthrie and Duckworth, the list of lawmakers who joined the effort and deserve a note of thanks include: Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Bruce Braley (D-IA), Corrine Brown (D-FL), André Carson (D-IN), Steve Chabot (R-OH), Danny K. Davis (D-IL), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Michael G. Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Sam Graves (R-MO), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Bill Johnson (R-OH), William R. Keating (D-MA), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Peter King (R-NY), Tom Latham (R-IA), Robert Latta (R-OH), Billy Long (R-MO), Dan Maffei (D-NY), James Moran (D-VA), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Mike Quigley (D-IL), Nick J. Rahall (D-WV), Phil Roe (R-TN), Todd Rokita (R-IN), C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), Aaron Schock (R-IL), Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH), Eric Swalwell (D-CA), Lee Terry (R-NE), Frederica S. Wilson (D-FL) and Ted Yoho (R-FL)