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AAP Is Effective.
AAP has achieved a prominent position as one of the top 20 national health associations. Experience demonstrates that AAP’s political activity heightens access to policymakers who make the decisions, and allows psychology’s advocates to work in the most advantageous political climate. One AAP tool that has worked well for psychology is AAP/PLAN (Psychologists for Legislative Action Now) psychology’s successful national political action committee. (PAC). PLAN could not legally function for organized psychology without AAP! AAP continues as an independent organization to maintain and support AAP/PLAN and to coordinate political giving with psychology’s national political agenda. With the formation of the American Psychological Association Practice Organization (APAPO), and the more recently established Education Advocacy Trust, this coordination can be accomplished almost seamlessly.
AAP Has A Proven Track Record.
AAP and AAP/PLAN’s support of psychology national legislative agenda has helped to gain:
- Parity between mental and physical health benefits in private insurance industry health plans.
- A host of patient and provider protections in Medicare and Medicaid.
- Medicare recognition of psychologists as fully independent providers in all settings.
- Removal of Medicare’s annual cap on the consumption of Mental health Benefits; thereby encouraging psychological interventions and hopefully minimizing overmedicating in the care of the elderly.
- Increasing clarification of national policy on hospital privilege for psychologists.
- Increased funding for psychology education and training through the Bureau of Health Professions Graduate Psychology Education Program.
- Support for increased mental/behavioral services on college campuses through the Garrett-Lee-Smith Memorial Act Campus Suicide Prevention Program.
- Establishment of the Department of Defense Center for Deployment Psychology, which seeks to address pre/post deployment issues facing military personnel (e.g., PTSD, TBI).
- A significant increase in federal support and funding for behavioral research.
Only AAP Can Provide Resources for Political Campaigns, APA Can’t.
Tax exempt 501(c)(3) charitable organizations, such as the American Psychological Association, are expressly prohibited from participation in political campaign activity on their members’ behalf. While APA may legally lobby for legislative change, and does so, through presentation of databased arguments, congressional testimony, etc., involvement in all election campaigns is banned by federal tax code.
AAP, organized under Sec. 501(c)(6) of the federal tax code, was established by APA in 1974 and created to speak for organized psychology in the national political campaign arena. While the APA Practice Organization and the Education Advocacy Trust are 501(c)(6) tax exempt organizations, they do not operate a political action committee, choosing instead to rely on AAP and AAP/PLAN for this kind of support.
In 2007 the Education Advocacy Trust (EdAT) – a 501(c)(6) tax status organization – was established as a grantor trust of the APA Practice Organization (APAPO). The mission of the EdAT is to promote the mutual professional interests of psychologists in advancing education in psychology and psychology’s role in other areas of education through advocacy activities that cannot be conducted legally within the APA, an organization that is tax exempt pursuant to Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Members of the APA Board of Educational Affairs (BEA) serve as the administrative oversight group for the Education Advocacy Trust and report to the APAPO Board of Directors, which is made up of the same individuals as the APA Board of Directors. The EdAT is governed in a structure parallel to that in which the members of the Committee for the Advancement of Professional Practice (CAPP) serve as the administrative oversight group for the practice activities of the APAPO. The EdAT has a separate source of revenue and a separate bank account from that maintained for the Practice Assessment and does not engage in activities that compete with the APAPO for revenues.
AAP Dues and AAP/PLAN Contributions Are Used to Support Candidates for Federal Office in Psychology’s Name.
AAP funds support the operation and administrative expenses of AAP/PLAN. AAP/PLAN is a separate segregated fund (PAC) which solicits voluntary individual contributions for the sole purpose of contributing to the election of federal lawmakers who understand and support psychology’s public concerns on behalf of psychology. AAP supports AAP/PLAN activity, coordinates with psychology’s advocates, AAP members, and local and state organizations on special projects.
AAP Dues Are Needed to:
- Insure that psychology can continue to maintain an effective presence on Capitol Hill to provide campaign resources to legislators sympathetic to psychology’s concerns.
- Cover production of ADVANCE, AAP’s quarterly newsletter, a periodical devoted to keeping you informed about national advocacy by and on behalf of psychology.
- Fund special projects to increase psychology’s visibility in the national political arena. Such projects have included funding for honorariums to convention speakers on national public policy themes; seed money to encourage state associations to become involved in the political giving process; educational projects on members’ voting records; congressional awards ceremonies; and other “political” activities that benefit the profession.
AAP Membership Is Inexpensive.
The $124 annual dues is just over $2.00 per week and is less than many psychologists spend on one cup of coffee per week. The annual $180 membership fee for supporting organizations is also very affordable, amounting to a negligible item in any association budget. A number of professional groups - such as state, county, local, and professional associations, and university psychology departments - regularly support AAP. All psychologists benefit from AAP activity and all professional organizations should join because AAP not only provides support for congressional districts in their jurisdictions, but provides consulting expertise to help with local legislative advocacy efforts.
Members Have A Voice in Which Issues They Support.
AAP members help direct the course of our political efforts by designating on the annual dues statement major specialty areas they wish to support: practice, education, and science initiatives. AAP membership entitles the member to a vote to elect the AAP Board of Trustees, assuring that AAP and AAP/PLAN policies reflect your priorities.
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