January 2012: Off and Running Again

By Gene McGill, Director of State Government Relations

2012 got off to a fast start for Naturopathic initiatives!

In the first full week of legislative activity, some sixteen relevant measures were introduced across the United States. Was this because it was the mid-term recess for all but a few legislatures or was it because lawmakers were anxious to reintroduce legislation they penned from the previous session? Maybe it’s because the AANP, state associations, their lobbyists and other grassroots organizations are making an impact on legislatures throughout the United States. Perhaps it’s all of the above. Whatever the reason, year after year, the lobbying efforts of the AANP and our state associations continue to grow and are increasingly effective. The impact that Naturopathic physicians have had and continue to have on legislation and regulations throughout the state houses in this country is staggering. Groups that are twenty, thirty or even a hundred times larger are so much less effective.

Why are you so effective? That’s easy! You know how to ask. The first lesson at the DC Federal Legislative Initiative is the “ask.” In a concise manner, you’ll learn how to approach members of Congress and their staff to present your message. The “ask” for NDs is easy too. You know your product. The message you personally deliver resonates throughout Congress and state houses and from that, the Naturopathic community gains respect.

As a group you are tenacious and persistent. More than a few of you have been working almost single-handedly in your state for over a decade to gain licensure. And even though it is a slow painful process, you move the legislation forward and won’t give up. That combination can only lead to success.

So yes, 2012 is off to a fast start. When things get a bit too fast-paced, just take a moment to step back and remember what you are asking for. Don’t hesitate to contact the AANP if you have a question. We have a network of really great NDs throughout the country that are always willing to lend a hand, provide advice and even just listen if necessary. Please take advantage of all that the AANP can offer to assist you and your state associations as you move forward in 2012.