Government relations agenda now online

NASW has been working with the Polsinelli law firm to strengthen the association’s government relations strategies for the 114th Congress, and to better serve NASW members.

A 90-day assessment of NASW’s federal advocacy efforts by Polsinelli showed that some of the issues important to NASW members and stakeholders include reimbursement rates for social workers; student loan forgiveness; integration of the Affordable Care Act; and strengthening the presence of social workers in the health and human services sector.

As one of the results of the assessment, NASW posted eight issue briefs online in March. The briefs lay out what the concerns of the association are, and what will be brought to the attention of policymakers on Capitol Hill, NASW Senior Field Organizer Dina Kastner said.

The issue briefs were only available in hard copy before, and the online accessibility will make them easier to view, she added.

“The key issues we’re focusing on are the three Rs … reimbursement, respect and resources for social workers,” Kastner said. “The issue briefs went online so stakeholders — including NASW members, policymakers and others — can see them, have access to them and know what we’re working on in Congress and the president’s administration.”

Each online issue brief covers a different area of the concerns brought forward from the Polsinelli assessment. They are:

  • Medicare Reimbursement Equal Coverage
  • Medicare Reimbursement Health Equity
  • Affordable Care Act Integration
  • Student Loan Forgiveness
  • Reintroduction of the Social Work Reinvestment Act
  • Older Americans Act
  • Child Welfare
  • Social Work Advocacy Issue

In a February NASW News article about the collaboration with Polsinelli, NASW Deputy Director of Programs Heidi McIntosh said the Polsinelli team includes former members of Congress, former in-house counsel of national health care institutions, the Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and former assistant U.S. attorneys.

“We want members to know that we’re ready to hit the ground running for the 114th Congress and we encourage members to join the NASW advocacy Listserv to keep up to date on our legislative activities,” McIntosh said in that article. “Our (national) policy work is not just going to happen here in Washington. It’s important to note that every member is an advocate for social work.”

Read the February News article, called Law firm to help NASW strengthen government relations strategies.