Political Involvement: Lobbying vs. Advocacy

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Promoting public healthcare often requires the medical staff’s active participation in the policymaking process. In this regard, such involvement may usually have two forms, namely lobbying and advocacy. Although these terms may sometimes be used interchangeably, they are not the same. On the one hand, a lobby is an action “aimed at influencing public officials and especially members of a legislative body on legislation” (Merriam-Webster, n.d.b). In contrast, advocacy is defined as “the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal” (Merriam-Webster, n.d.a). As can be seen, lobbyists only intend to influence a specific regulation through interactions with legislators, whereas advocates stimulate changes through increased public awareness and education (Schaeffer & Haebler, 2019). Therefore, while both lobbyists and advocates aim to promote reforms in society, they use slightly different strategies.

Nevertheless, the two types of political involvement are equally important and necessary. Advocacy is a crucial step of policy promotion as it helps society members to recognize the issues related to public health or deepen their knowledge regarding those problems. This, in turn, facilitates the formation of political agenda that seeks to resolve the concern introduced by the medical advocates. On the contrary, lobbyists assist policymakers in formulating legal documents in a most professional manner by sharing their expertise. Moreover, they may help the politicians to raise funds necessary to promote the specific legislation. For this reason, Byrd et al. (2012) argue that it is essential to create educational opportunities to increase the current and future medical staff’s political involvement. Otherwise, political participation may not be sufficient partly due to the negative connotation of the word ‘politics’ and, thus, the lack of healthcare professionals’ desire to be involved in ‘something dirty’.

Finally, it is important to mention that advocates and lobbyists do not only exist as individual people but may also form interest groups or political action committees. For instance, The Joint Commission is an enterprise that advocates for better healthcare provision that coincides with the latest evidence-based findings. In order to do that, the organization possesses the right to provide or reject the accreditation of medical facilities. Therefore, this example shows that groups usually have more power to influence policies than individuals.

References

Byrd, M. E., Costello, J., Gremel, K., Schwager, J., Blanchette, L., & Malloy, T. E. (2012). Political astuteness of baccalaureate nursing students following an active learning experience in health policy. Public Health Nursing, 29(5), 433-443. Web.

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.a). Advocacy. Web.

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.b). Lobby. Web.

Schaeffer, R., & Haebler, J. (2019). Nurse leaders: Extending your policy influence. Nurse Leader, 17(4), 340-343. Web.

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DemoEssays. (2022) 'Political Involvement: Lobbying vs. Advocacy'. 19 December.

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DemoEssays. 2022. "Political Involvement: Lobbying vs. Advocacy." December 19, 2022. https://demoessays.com/political-involvement-lobbying-vs-advocacy/.

1. DemoEssays. "Political Involvement: Lobbying vs. Advocacy." December 19, 2022. https://demoessays.com/political-involvement-lobbying-vs-advocacy/.


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DemoEssays. "Political Involvement: Lobbying vs. Advocacy." December 19, 2022. https://demoessays.com/political-involvement-lobbying-vs-advocacy/.