Features  |   August 2019
Record-breaking LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE in 2019
Author Affiliations
  • Sam L. Page, M.D., FASA
    Chair, Committee on Governmental Affairs
Article Information
Advocacy and Legislative Issues / Features
Features   |   August 2019
Record-breaking LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE in 2019
ASA Monitor 8 2019, Vol.83, 8-11.
ASA Monitor 8 2019, Vol.83, 8-11.
Many records were broken during LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE 2019 in May this year. More ASA members than ever before – nearly 650 – traveled to Washington, D.C. to hear about the top issues impacting the specialty. There were also a record number of residents and medical students in attendance. Overall, I was inspired by the physician anesthesiologists and anesthesiologist assistants who took the time to attend the conference and learn more about the top policy issues – and then who took action to inform their lawmakers.
The development and maintenance of strong relationships with elected officials on Capitol Hill continue to help advance our advocacy initiatives. As of the end of May, there have been more than 200 Congressional visits reported, including 21 with newly elected officials who may be unfamiliar with the specialty of anesthesiology. Feedback from these offices has been extremely positive. There were five main topics we advocated for this year: protecting patients from surprise medical bills, ensuring funding for brain health research, ending the Medicare 33 percent payment issue in Medicare for All, increasing rural access to physician-led anesthesia, and providing debt relief to medical residents. As many health care-related topics are at the forefront of congressional debate, this has elevated my colleagues like you to become resources for legislators. If you’re interested in continuing to build on these relationships, please sign up for ASA Team 535 at bit.ly/Team535.
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