If you ever were a part of a team in school, you probably heard the old adage: there is no “I” in team. That expression won’t be far from your brain if you attend Capitol Conference. NAHU CEO Janet Trautwein and NAHU’s legislative team work closely with the federal political system, specifically targeting and analyzing legislation that impacts healthcare – from the tiny issues you’ve never heard of to the ones that make the news daily. This well versed team of subject-matter experts lead the legislative charge at CapCon each year – they disseminate which pieces of information we should target, and which issues aren’t issues at all, until it becomes one succinct message. The core strategy is simple – if we all work together and speak with one voice, our message will be heard. At the general sessions at CapCon, attendees are being debriefed on what the speaking points are when we go to Capitol Hill to meet with legislators. There are handouts, and personal stories, and visits from staffers and legislators, and subject matter experts who supply more background information than one can hope to retain. It’s intense, and unless you’re on top of your political game, it’s a lot to digest. If you have no political radar regarding healthcare-pertinent issues, by the end of the first day, your head will be chock full of the most up to date, detailed information. You will be drowning in details, and acronyms and terminology.
Then there are the Capitol Hill visits: tunnels, and metal detectors, and massive amounts of people moving with a purpose. Before you know it, you’re sitting in an office with a staffer, or sneaking a peek of a committee meeting room, and then, you’ll blink and you’re on your flight home. It’s the quintessential NAHU whirlwind trip. All you’ll remember once you get home is the blurry image of a bunch of iconic monuments to our great country swirling around with a few pieces of healthcare policy jargon. Pack your bags, NAHU team – we’re off to DC!