Health agents head to Washington

(LHP photo/Allison Bell) (LHP photo/Allison Bell)

Members of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) are focusing their persuasive skills on policymakers on Capitol Hill this week.

NAHU has brought about 900 agents and brokers to Washington for its 24th annual Capitol Conference.

NAHU is giving the participants updates on topics such as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exchange system, the PPACA employer mandate rules, self-funded plans and Medicaid expansion.

NAHU speakers are also giving newcomers pointers on topics such as why talking to lawmakers' legislative aides is often at least as important as talking to the lawmakers.

In the afternoons, NAHU is helping the participants figure out how to get into the congressional office buildings and introduce themselves to aides and lawmakers.

NAHU's political action committee, the Health Underwriters Political Action Committee (HUPAC), is holding a reception and a luncheon.

In addition to Janet Trautwein, NAHU's chief executive officer, the list of speakers includes Mila Kofman, the executive director of the District of Columbia's DC Health Link exchange -- which serves members of Congress and many of their aides; Grace-Marie Turner of the Galen Institute; Sharon Day, the co-chair of the Republican National Committee; and Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah.

Many NAHU members have been live tweeting from the conference using the hashtag #Nahucapcon.

Some have been retweeting the NAHU message that, "Agents are the answer," to many of the challenge facing the U.S. health finance system.

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