State Public Policy
Legislative Update (February 2018)
Claire Hammer, RDN, CDE
Consumer Protection Coordinator
The first half of the 2017-2018 Michigan Legislature was fairly quiet with little legislation affecting RDs/RDNs. As we now start the second half there are a few professional licensure bills we are monitoring, mainly Senate Bill 683, Impose Full Licensure on Acupuncturists. Currently, about 174 acupuncturists are registered with LARA in Michigan. SB 683 would expand their scope of practice to provide “dietary counseling in accordance with East Asian Medical Theory” including prescribing herbal remedies. The bill would also remove the direct MD or DO physician supervision requirement that is currently in place.
The Michigan Academy is exploring options on how to best approach both our Legislators and the writers of SB 683. We will keep you posted on SB 683 and any recommended actions for Michigan Academy members.
Continue visiting your State Representative or State Senator at coffee/office hours and town halls just to introduce yourself. Dates are usually on their facebook or website. We want our Legislators to know us, to be aware of our background, training, and expertise. We also want them to feel free to contact us as the experts in food and nutrition. Sign up for the newsletter they send out to constituents. It's a great way to get to know them and some of the bills they are sponsoring as well as some of their interests. Consider inviting him/her to your workplace or to a National Nutrition Month event you might be doing. Establishing this relationship with your Legislator now is critical when legislation that affects the RD/RDN is introduced. Knowing us is half the battle!
At least one third of the Michigan Legislature changes every two years. In nine months we will have a very big election with many new Senators, Representatives, and a new Governor. Your Legislator might be running again for another term. They are anxious to meet their constituents. Below are some handouts we used at Legislative Day which you are welcome to give to your Legislator. They also like stats about their districts on such concerns as food insecurity, obesity, diabetes. Email me and I would be happy to point you in the right direction to getting that information (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- The Top 10 Reasons to Visit an RDN
- RDNs bring Food and Nutrition Expertise to the Table
- MNT Effectiveness
If you visit your Legislator let us know! Contact the Michigan Academy’s Executive Director, Susanne Consiglio (email@example.com). Tell us who you visited and email us a photo if you took one! We’ll add the photo to our Michigan Academy Historical PowerPoint.
Contribute to the MI PAC, Experience PPW, and More! (January 2018)
Jevgenija Meyers, RDN
State Policy Representative
A new year and another new start! As we ring in the New Year we often think of changes we hope to make personally and professionally. In this ever-changing world, there is no better time than now to get involved in the course our profession will take.
The simplest way to advocate for the causes we care for is by contributing to the Michigan Political Action Committee. The MI PAC places a focus on food, nutrition, and health related issues. The funds pooled are used to support local pro-nutrition candidates in Michigan. Regardless of what happens with licensure, there are many other nutrition related causes and bills to support.
Donations will be accepted at the Spring conference in April (we can take up to $20 in cash, up to $100 we need name and home address, and over $100 we need to add occupation, employer and work address). A check made payable to Michigan Academy PAC can be mailed to the Michigan Academy directly at any time.
Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Michigan Academy)
c/o Susanne Consiglio, RDN Executive Director
22811 Greater Mack, Suite 105
St. Clair Shores, Michigan 48080
This is the final year for our current Governor Rick Snyder. Many candidates have been running for his position for months. We dietitians play a large role in this process by voting. Before we vote, it is important to do our research. Many resources are available to help us review the candidates so we may make informed decisions which shape the future for the Dietitians in Michigan. Resources like the League of Woman Voters www.vote411.org offer a great tool for educating yourself in a non-partisan way.
This past year Carl Christoph was able to attend a fundraiser for representative running for the Michigan State House of Representatives and Bethany Thayer a fundraiser for a candidate running for Governor. Carl and Bethany were able to attend these events with funds made possible by MI PAC. These fundraising events are a terrific opportunity to get one-on-one time with the candidates and discuss their positions on the issues and make our priorities heard. Before we vote in November, let’s choose to do our research for the right candidates. Do not hesitate to make your voice (and the voice for sound nutrition) be heard!
Nationally, the Public Policy Workshop (PPW) will be here before we know it. If you are ready to be more involved, step up, and take a stand for nutrition, consider attending PPW! PPW date for 2018 has not yet been released, but it is likely to coincide with FNCE 2018! This is a phenomenal opportunity to network and build relationships with fellow RDNs and national lawmakers.
Legislative Update (January 2018)
Sara Harmon, MPH, RDN
State Regulatory Specialist
Happy New Year! Hope everyone was able to enjoy the Holidays. Here are a few updates in the legislative corner.
Congress has returned from the holiday recess with several legislative issues to tackle in their first week, including preventing a government shutdown. On December 21, 2017, Congress passed a bill to fund the government through January 19. Lawmakers will have to have to reach an agreement to raise the spending caps and vote on a bill that funds the government for the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends September 30. The Academy continues to advocate for a strong investment in evidence-based nutrition programs. Stay tuned for action alerts in the coming weeks.
The Academy’s federal priority areas update: H.R. 1953 Treat and Reduce Obesity Act of 2017 was introduced to the House on 4/5/17 and referred on 4/14/17 to the subcommittee on Health in the Energy and Commerce; Ways and Means Committee. Michigan has two Representatives that have cosponsored the bill Rep. Dan Kildee (district 5) and Rep. Mike Bishop (district 8) H.R. 3124 Preventing Diabetes in Medicare Act of 2017 was introduced to the House on 6/29/17 and referred on 7/17/17 to the subcommittee on Health in the Energy and Commerce; Ways and Means Committee. Michigan has one Representative who has cosponsored the bill, Rep. Dan Kildee (district 5). Please consider reaching out to your Representative to have them sign on to cosponsor the bill. Rep. Mike Bishop (district 8) is a member of the majority party and Rep. Sander Levin (district 9) is a member of the minority party in the Health Subcommittee.
The Academy in conjunction with Obesity Care Advocacy Network (OCAN) leaders will be hosting an Obesity Care Advocacy Day and Capitol Hill briefing on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 in Washington DC to highlight the importance of nutrition and bring awareness to the disease. Participants will attend meetings with Capitol Hill offices between 9am – 3:30pm, and a lunch briefing at noon. The day’s events will conclude with an ANDPAC and OBESITY PAC reception from 4:30pm – 6pm to honor legislators who have championed efforts to promote patient access to, and coverage of, obesity treatment services. The event is open to all members and the public. Register now to attend!
The Farm Bill, legislation that is authorized every five years and is up for reauthorization this year, funds many U.S. Department of Agriculture programs, including nutrition assistance, education and research programs. Representative Mike Conaway, the chair of the U.S. House of Representatives Agriculture Committee, has expressed an interest in bringing the Farm Bill to the House floor by March. The Senate is moving slower and is currently behind schedule in drafting their version of a Farm Bill. Congress has yet to complete a final 2018 spending bill, but the bill will likely serve as the baseline for funding for programs in the Farm Bill negotiations. No Farm Bill has passed on time since 1990. The Academy will closely monitor congressional action on the Farm Bill and work with Congress to advance a Farm Bill that maintains the integrity of nutrition assistance programs, ensures vital nutrition education and nutrition research and enhances access to healthy food. If you are interested in the Farm Bill, The Academy’s PIA staff host a monthly call to discuss the latest news from Capitol Hill and share how you can get involved with the advocacy efforts. Please RSVP to Nicole Burda, director, legislative and government affairs, if you would like to join the call and stay informed. The Academy will host a Farm Bill advocacy day on Tuesday, April 24, 2018 in Washington, DC – save the date!
The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the shared federal-state funded program that provides healthcare coverage for over 9 million low-income kids, is in jeopardy. CHIP covers prescriptions, dental care and a host of other services, including nutrition services.
States have discretion in determining eligibility, and have the option to cover pregnant women. CHIP is funded at around $16 billion, and the federal government funds 90 percent of the program. However, states across the country are running out of money due to Congress’ failure to reauthorize CHIP. Shortly before Christmas, Congress passed short-term legislation that included $2.85 billion to help fund CHIP through March. As part of the 2018 legislative agenda, policymakers must finalize long-term funding for the program. The Academy continues to oppose using the Prevention and Public Health Fund to pay for the program.
The December 2017 MNT Provider Newsletter is available to learn about the changes in store for RDN Medicare Part B providers in 2018. This includes changes to Medicare telehealth billing, how National Diabetes Prevention Programs can become eligible for Medicare payments, new care coordination services and payment for Rural Health Clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers and the impact of the Quality Payment Program year two. Read the latest issue of the MNT Provider, it is free if you are a member of the DPG or $5 if you are a non-member.
If you are interested in being part of a dynamic group advocating for our profession, we need you! We are currently recruiting for positions on our Public Policy Panel, including some new and expanded roles. Don’t worry if you are new to advocacy, the positions are designed to partner you with an experienced member to learn more about food and nutrition advocacy. We are currently seeking individuals to volunteer for the following positions: Public Policy Coordinator Co-chair, Public Policy Coordinator Co-Chair in training, State Regulatory Specialist in-training, State Policy Representative in-training. If you would like to volunteer or receive more information about these positions, please email Susanne Consiglio at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Meet your 2017-2018 Michigan Public Policy Panel:
- Michigan Academy President: Rubina Haque
- Michigan Academy President-Elect: Sarah Clark
- Public Policy Coordinator: Lynn Spalding
- State Policy Representative: Jenny Meyers
- State Regulatory Specialist: Sara Harmon
- Reimbursement Representative: Allison Tropf
- Consumer Protection Coordinator: Claire Hammer
- Delegate: Michele Nikolai