The Greek philosopher Aristotle had it figured out 2,300 years ago when he said: “Tell them what you are going to tell them … tell them…then tell them what you told them."

His wise understanding of the power of messaging has stood the test of time and still applies today as our field works hard to ensure our needs are understood and our messages are heard, especially on Capitol Hill.

The AHA’s 2024 Annual Membership Meeting gets underway in two days with a jam-packed schedule featuring prominent federal legislators, top officials from the Administration, influential newsmakers, and hospital and health system leaders who are propelling innovation in our field.

It’s the nation’s top conference for leaders committed to caring 24/7 for patients and communities, and there is no other forum that provides the opportunities to: learn from top thought leaders in Washington; connect with colleagues from across the country who are leading efforts to transform the way care is delivered; and influence the political landscape as we advocate for policies to support patients, caregivers and communities.

This year, we have distilled these priorities into four key points that we are strongly encouraging members to pursue in their meetings with their congressional delegations while they are in Washington, as well as in conversations with their lawmakers back home. They are:

  1. Reject funding cuts and extend key policies to ensure patients’ access to care.
  2. Support and strengthen the health care workforce.
  3. Hold commercial insurers accountable for practices that delay, deny and disrupt care.
  4. Bolster support to enhance cybersecurity of hospitals and the entire health care system.

Each of these themes greatly impacts the current state of our health care system, and the AHA has long been active and outspoken in our support of these goals. In other words, we have told them [lawmakers] what we are going to tell them.

Next week, we rely on our members to take the next step and tell them again how hospitals and health systems continue to face daunting financial, regulatory and supply chain issues and why additional support is needed to ensure access to 24/7 patient care.

In this election year, lawmakers are paying very close attention to what their constituents and many of the major employers in their states and districts are saying. And throughout the rest of this year, we will continue the drum beat and tell them why we need action on these four essential advocacy priorities.

Whether or not you can join us in person at the Annual Membership Meeting, you can help amplify our voice and influence your legislators as we work on these and other important issues.

Some great resources and helpful tools for getting action-ready can be found on our We Care, We Vote web pages, and you can learn more about the most pressing issues facing the health care field by visiting AHA’s  Advocacy Action Center. The health care field is at its strongest when we speak with one voice, creating an echo chamber that helps to get our issues on the radar screen and provide a political environment that is more sympathetic to our concerns.

It's vital that we make our voices heard and candidates listen to us as we continue our efforts to advance health in America.

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