ILOTPAC

Illinois Occupational Therapy Political Action Committee

Frequently Asked Questions 

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A Political Action Committee (PAC) is an agent of an interest group, such as Illinois Occupational Therapy Association, and one whose function is to influence the outcome of an election campaign; ensuring the candidate, who is supportive of the goals of the interest group, wins.

What is a PAC?  
PAC’s contribute to candidates who are sympathetic to their cause and to those who are likely to win the election and who have power and influence in the legislative process. The Illinois Occupational Therapy Political Action Committee, a separate entity from the Illinois Occupational Therapy Association, has contributed to campaigns of legislators who are on key committees that would affect Occupational Therapy.

What does ILOTPAC do for Illinois Occupational Therapy Practitioners?
ILOTPAC was created in 1985 by former IOTA president Lynne Barnes of Urbana. ILOTPAC relies heavily on the volunteer efforts of ILOTA members throughout the State to attend political events and inform the Committee regarding potential candidates to support. ILOTPAC helps give the profession a voice in assisting legislators to become elected and who will pass bills and regulations that affect the daily practice of occupational therapy practitioners.


By contributing to ILOTPAC, you have support to contact your local legislator, you increase the image of the profession, your facility, your area of practice, and as a healthcare practitioner supporting our clients’ needs. YOU can also influence healthcare policy development in Illinois.


ILOTA and ILOTPAC are taking action to advocate for our clients and our profession for the upcoming Lobby Day, February 27, 2013. Important topics at the Sate level are the recent Medicaid budget cuts and changes limiting the number of outpatient therapy services to 20 visits annually, accessibility of mental health services, and defining habilitative services under the Essential Health Benefit Plan. 

In addition, as the State decides how to approach the health insurance exchange requirement for 2014, the Essential Health Benefit Plan also requires further decisions and implementation. It is imperative for our profession to support legislators who act on behalf of our client’s health and our profession, to develop relationships and on-going dialogue.

What action can you take to support these efforts? Contact your legislator via email, phone or set-up a face-to-face meeting. Start a conversation using the below listed questions.
Thanks for the listings, here is the part that needs to be updated on the ILOTPAC page, the first bullet needs to have the parenthesis deleted :

Introduce yourself as a constituent first, then OT practitioner. Consideration could be given to the following:

  • Describing OT using description from ILOTA website
  • Identifying your personal professional experiences of the various types of interventions provided by you as an occupational therapy practitioner
  • Relating examples of recent public figures who have received OT services and typical OT interventions  
  • Inquiring if the legislator personally knows of anyone who has been a recipient of OT services
  • Using the term “occupational therapy” versus “OT” to clarify and clearly distinguish the profession from other therapy profession abbreviations (PT, ST, DT, etc.)
  • Identifying local community programs or service areas providing OT services within the legislator’s district
 Sample Interview Questions: 
  • What made you run for political office? 
  • What issues are priorities for you while you are in office? 
  • What do you hope to accomplish during your term? 
  • Since you have been in office, what is the most important accomplishment you have achieved, have been a part of, or hope to be a part of? (i.e., sponsorship of bill, etc.?) 
  • Which committees do you Chair or are a committee member? Are you part of a committee that you are more active in or have a special interest? What led you to being a part of the committee(s)? 
  • What do you find will be the largest challenge in implementing a health exchange in Illinois? 
  • Does the proposed essential health benefit (EHB) plan for Illinois appear to be comprehensive to meet the health needs of the public? Would you modify any requirements of the plan? 
  • How do you see the budget deficit impacting future healthcare services under Medicaid, EHB plans, or other related community health services? 

Every month, watch the website and the Communiqué for featured legislators and respective ILOTA members who have contacted their legislators. Hopefully, these interviews will provide an exchange of information about current legislator efforts and raise awareness regarding occupational therapy here in Illinois. If you have any questions regarding volunteering, supporting legislators, attending political events, or suggestions, please contact Monika Robinson. 

Where, who and how does the ILOTPAC receive & use its funds? 

  1. You can contribute to the ILOTPAC when you renew your ILOTA membership
  2. Facilities and individuals can contribute to the ILOTPAC
  3. Send a check or money order to ILOTPAC, C/o ILOTA 1717 Naper Blvd, Suite 200-15, Naperville, IL 60563
  4. ILOTPAC donations are NOT tax deductible and CANNOT be made anonymously.  A copy of our reports filed with the State Board of Elections are available on the Board’s official website (http://www.elections.il.gov/).
  5. ILOTPAC funds are used to attend political events/fundraisers to support legislators and for campaigning.

If you have any questions regarding donations, use of funds, or supporting ILOTPAC please contact:

 

Alexandra Shandiz
 Bryan Carlson, OTR/L      
Committee Chair, ILOTPAC  Treasurer, ILOTPAC
Email: alexandrashandiz@gmail.com Email: carlsonbryan@yahoo.com  

 

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