How to Write an Effective Letter
A letter to your elected representative is a powerful tool. It helps policymakers understand the human impact of the laws they create.
A good letter tells a story of how a particular piece of legislation affects you. It includes personal anecdotes as well as facts about the law. It shows that you understand the issue, and want, in turn, to make your lawmaker understand how deeply this would affect you.
When writing a letter, a few things to keep in mind:
- Be clear and concise. Try to keep the letter to one page.
- Use personal information (you bleeding disorder; you medical costs, etc.)
- Include photos
- Convey urgency, not anger
Below is a sample letter which you can use as a template to write to your Senator, governor, other elected official, or local newspaper. This letter highlights the issues in the bill that would have the biggest effect on the bleeding disorders community.
At the bottom of the page, read an example of an effective letter sent to Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)
The Honorable NAME
United States Senate
Washington DC 20510
Sent via email: INSERT EMAIL ADDRESS USED
Dear Senator NAME,
I am writing to you today to explain the impact that the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) will have on me and my family. I am very concerned about some provisions in the bill that will harm me, INSERT NAME OF AFFECTED PERSON, and others with rare, chronic conditions like hemophilia across STATE NAME. I worry that the proposed bill being discussed will limit my access to affordable health insurance by increasing my premium and out-of-pocket costs and that my plan will cover less of the care I need.
The things I am most concerned about are:
- I oppose the bill because it allows states to define the essential health benefits (EHBs). EHBs ensure access to broad coverage and several patient protections only apply to services defined as EHBs, including the elimination of lifetime limits. Changes to EHBs will allow lifetime and annual caps to return. IF YOU HAVE EXPERIENCE WITH HITTING A CAP USE THAT STORY HERE.
- I also oppose the bill’s Medicaid policies. Repealing the Medicaid expansion (IF APPLICABLE IN YOUR STATE) and making significant cuts to Medicaid financing could cause many individuals in our state to lose coverage as states limit benefits or reduce eligibility in response to budget cuts. Approximately one third of our community is insured by Medicaid across the US. INCLUDE PERSONAL STORY IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE HAS MEDICAID PRIMARY OR SECONDARY
- In addition, many of the changes in this bill, will increase premium and out-of-pocket costs to me and my family who need meaningful health care coverage. It will cost more to buy a plan that covers less. INCLUDE PERSONAL STORY ABOUT HOW AND WHY YOU NEED ACCESS TO YOUR HTC. I understand that the drugs to treat my bleeding disorder are expansive but they allow me to go to school, work, etc. and continue my life as a productive citizen.
I ask that you consider me and my family and vote no on BCRA because having health insurance is necessary for me to be healthy, able to work, and provide for my family.
My family and I and others across the state of NAME STATE need your support. Please call or email me with any questions or concerns.
I look forward to hearing from you.