For the past four years, Spitfire has worked with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Consumer Voices for Coverage (CVC) program to provide communication planning and capacity building to advocates working to increase healthcare access across the country.
This work includes developing messages and materials targeted to priority audiences and providing strategic counsel and implementation support to grantees in 18 CVC states.
The CVC advocates face a variety of challenges in their work to increase access to health care and have varying degrees of internal communication capacity. They also work in significantly different political environments, with some states embracing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and others resisting implementation of the law. To best support the advocates, Spitfire worked with each grantee to develop a communication plan to guide its work. We now conduct ongoing assessments of each grantee and develop a tailored technical assistance package aimed at leveraging each state’s opportunities and providing additional support to overcome unique challenges.
For example, in Maryland, the CVC advocates secured the support of the state comptroller to sign and send a letter to 5,000 small business owners encouraging them to take advantage of tax credits through the ACA.
With savvier communication strategies and skills, these advocates are now driving the conversation about health care reform in their states. For example, the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative (CCHI) is the leading consumer voice in the conversation about ACA implementation in the state, and generates significant media coverage. CCHI accepted an invitation to join the rate review committee and is now adding its consumer voice to this critical issue. In Maryland, the CVC advocates secured the support of the state comptroller to sign and send a letter to 5,000 small business owners encouraging them to take advantage of tax credits through the ACA.