Legislative Advocacy Committee
One of the ways WSPA is able to affect legislation that benefits all psychologists in the state is through United Psychologists Political Action Committee (UP-PAC).
UP-PAC is politically nonpartisan and membership is open to any person with a doctoral degree in psychology or persons enrolled in graduate training programs working toward their doctoral degree in psychology. Membership is renewed annually by making a donation to the committee. UP-PAC encourages psychologists to participate actively and effectively in governmental affairs and promotes a favorable climate for the science and practice of psychology through political action.
Each election year UP-PAC identifies legislators who support mental health legislation on both sides of the aisle and makes a donation to their campaign. Washington State has 49 legislative districts that elects two representatives and one senator. This adds up to 147 state legislators whose responsibility is to regulate the practice of health care in our state. Because most legislators know very little to nothing about the practice of psychology they rely on WSPA and others to educate them on why they need to support or not support legislation that changes disciplinary laws, insurance regulation, and psychology licensing law.
WSPA has helped to pass bills that affect your practice, including required reimbursement by insurers for telemental health services, transparency requirements for insurers when coverage for health care has been denied, and increased access to mental health care. Since 2013, WSPA has also supported legislation to ban conversion therapy and make it an act of unprofessional conduct which was signed into law in 2018.
Why we have UP-PAC
WSPA is a non-profit professional trade association with restrictions on directly supporting political candidates through membership dues. In the late 1980's a charter was written for the United Psychologists Political Action Committee (UP-PAC), adopted by the WSPA Board, and filed with the State. Through separate fundraising, the PAC would allow WSPA to gain access to state legislators to educate them on mental health issues and legislation that would effect field of psychology or the clinical practices of all psychologists in the state. In 1998, UP-PAC had raised and distributed $12,000 to 80 state candidates running for office.
Donations to UP-PAC make a big difference!
A majority of UP-PAC donations come from WSPA members and are hand delivered to a legislative candidate by a Grassroots UP-PAC member. The grassroots UP-PAC also lobbies the candidate, informing and educating them of legislation that will affect mental health laws.
Making personal contact with a legislator makes a big difference in gaining their support!
UP-PAC asks that psychologists make a donation at least the equivalent of one hour of clinical time (not one hour of Medicaid reimbursement $48).
If you would like to see Medicaid reimbursement levels increased, if you would like to see additional regulation of insurers' ability to manipulate CPT codes, and if you would like to see better regulation of the chronic problems of insurers, please donate.
You can make a donation by check or securely online. When donating by check please make it payable to UP-PAC and mail it to:
C/O WSPA Executive Director
9 S. Washington, Suite 201
Spokane, WA 99201
Board of Directors