Get Involved! You'll Be Glad You Did
ASA's Capitol Hill Fly-In.
The event began Tuesday evening, July 28, with a great dinner and briefing from U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd, D-Fla., and Bob Redding, ASA's Washington, D.C., representative. I was pleasantly surprised at the number of shop owners and/or shop managers who were present. There were more than 70 of us in attendance! All of us gave our time and resources to make the trip.
During our day on Capitol Hill, we split into small groups and collectively visited with dozens of senators and members of the House of Representatives. The discussions ranged from issues of steering to aftermarket parts, materials caps, the McCarran-Ferguson Act and more. The majority of the members, senators and staff we met with showed a genuine interest in what we had to say. One of them on our list, a representative from Texas, commented after our discussion that she had been steered to a shop recently and just now realized it. We asked the legislator to co-sponsor H.R. 1583, which would repeal the McCarran-Ferguson Act. The representative replied, "I will look into it."
It is undoubtedly a critical time as Washington considers insurance reform. I believe it's our duty as shop owners to make sure policymakers are aware of important issues that affect our businesses, our customers and consumers in general. That is what prompted me to make the trip to D.C. for ASA's Capitol Hill Fly-In.
After learning that members of the dental industry did the same thing about a month earlier to help get McCarran-Ferguson repealed, I was grateful that we are not alone.
Whether you made the trip to D.C. or not, you must write or e-mail your representatives frequently. It only takes a few minutes a week to let them know your concerns and wishes. One of the easiest ways to do this is to go to www.TakingTheHill.com, which is ASA's legislative Web site. The site makes it easy to contact your representatives and send them e-mails. In addition, you will learn about other ways that you can get involved legislatively.
I am grateful to the team of ASA professionals who made this opportunity possible. I learned that one of our best opportunities yet to come may be H.R. 1880. The bill, which has been introduced, would establish optional federal regulation for insurers.
I am not a person who generally supports more federal regulation. But as a shop owner, I'm excited to see a bill that for the first time, reaches beyond life insurance. After years of seeing consumer and small business complaints fall on deaf ears in the states, the opportunity for that to change may be at hand.
Federal regulators have access to a degree of human resources and capital that state agencies do not enjoy. There are two major insurance companies that understand that very well. They have endorsed H.R. 1880.
The Capitol Hill Fly-In was an awakening for me. Most of us engaged in running a collision repair shop spend our energy on day-to-day issues that keep our businesses alive. During these current economic times, that has become an even more challenging task. But taking the trip to D.C. helped me get a better view of the big picture. Besides reminding me how great it is to be an American, it reinforced the belief that one voice has the potential to make a difference. If we do nothing, if we say nothing, we should expect nothing.
It's a great time to be involved. Don't miss your chance!
AutoInc. Web Site |
ASA Web Site |
Collision Leaders Take Insurance Reform Message to Capitol Hill |
Top Dog: Ensuring Customers Find Your Web Site |
Consider the Technical Side to Reprogramming ROI |
Winning Women Customers |
What Would You Do? |
Tech to Tech |
Tech Tips |
News Briefs |
Taking the Hill |
Around ASA |
Shop Profile |
Net Worth |
Members' Advantage |
Guest Editorial |
Copyright (c) 1996-2011. Automotive Service Association®. All rights reserved.