Information and Resources
ASA LEGISLATIVE CONFERENCE 2013 - FOCUS ON THE FUTURE
J.W. Marriott Hotel - Washington, D.C. – April 29 – May 1, 2013
A significant amount of time at the Conference will be spent briefing attendees on ASA priority issues. Attendees will be provided information on the status of the key issues, points to be made when speaking with lawmakers and their staff, responses to opponent arguments and other helpful information to assure full preparedness during “Hill” meetings, as well as meetings with state lawmakers. Position papers and supporting documents will also be provided as part of the briefings. Additionally, ASA staff and physician leadership will be available to answer any questions.
Registration for the Legislative Conference is conducted through each individual State Component. Interested individuals must contact their State Component President or staff to determine how and when the state selects its delegation to the Legislative Conference. Each state must submit its registration list accompanied by the required registration fee.
There is no limit on the size of any Component's delegation. Components are free to make any type of arrangements they wish with their delegation so long as ASA receives the appropriate registration fee for each Conference registrant be it from the Component or the individual.
Components do not pay the registration fee for members of their delegation who are also members of the ASA Administrative Council or Conference speakers.
Component Society officers, Legislative Chairs, leaders in academic anesthesiology, “ASA Key Contacts” and residents are strongly encouraged to attend. In particular, Components should try to bring ASA "Key Contacts" for the state’s U.S. Senators and for lawmakers from the state who serve in the Congressional leadership or on key health-related committees - Senate Finance, Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP), and Commerce Committees and House Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committees.
A block of hotel rooms is now reserved for conference registrants at the JW Marriott Hotel, 1331 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. The block is under the name of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) and will cover rooms from Friday, April 26 through Thursday, May 2, 2013. Reservations may be made online or by calling the hotel directly at 202-393-2000. A special nightly rate of $334 is available until the room block closes on April 5, 2013. Once this block is sold out or closed, rooms at the special negotiated rate are no longer available.
Questions or problems with hotel reservation can be directed to Marcia Perzyna of the ASA staff firstname.lastname@example.org. Each registrant is responsible for his or her own hotel arrangements. The ASA Washington office can provide attendees a list of alternate hotels in the vicinity of the JW Marriott; however, there will be no room block available at these hotels.
Conference registration will open Monday, April 29. The Newcomers Session: Advocacy Overview and Capitol Hill Basics will take place that afternoon. The Conference Welcome Reception will occur Monday evening.
Tuesday’s program is scheduled to begin with a continental breakfast, followed by a program of speakers, lunch at noon featuring a speaker to be determined, and additional speakers and programs in the afternoon. The ASAPAC Donor Thank You Reception concludes the day.
Wednesday’s program opens with a continental breakfast to be followed by a brief program of speakers. Attendees will then travel to Capitol Hill for visits to Congressional offices.
Appointments for Wednesday’s Capitol Hill Visits
Appointments should be made as soon as possible through the lawmaker’s scheduler. Do not wait until arrival in D.C. to attempt to make an appointment with a lawmaker's staff. Second, it is strongly recommended that attendees work with their fellow attendees from the Component to make assignments for individual lawmaker's staffs. If an attendee in the Component knows a particular lawmaker or is the ASA “Key Contact” for that lawmaker, he or she should make the appointment. Otherwise, attendees should make the appointment for the Member of Congress who represents their Congressional District. A State Component leader or appropriate “Key Contact” should be tasked with setting up the meeting with the U.S. Senators.
Asking staff to make appointments is strongly discouraged. Indeed, allowing State Component administrative personnel or group administrative personnel to make appointments only furthers the perception -- however erroneous -- that physicians are aloof and think of themselves as “above” working with Congressional staff. Note: Due to the new abbreviated 2013 Congressional schedule with its focus on in-district work periods, Member of Congress and Senators will be working in their respective Congressional Districts and States that week. Lawmakers will not be in Washington, D.C. Accordingly, lawmakers will not be available for meetings. Only staff will be available for meetings.
Individual anesthesiologists should make their own appointments. Attendees should call the scheduler or health aide to request the meeting. They should then perform all the necessary follow-up until the meeting is confirmed.
Remember that Congressional staff can be very transient. Many of today’s senior Congressional staff started off answering phones or sorting mail. The receptionist working in the office this year could very well be someone who is working on his or her Master’s degree in health policy at a nearby university. He or she is simply working as a receptionist to get a “foot in the door” of a Congressional office. Next year, the very same person could be a lawmaker’s health policy aide. Start building a direct relationship with this staffer this year by serving as the primary contact for the office.
Making appointments for visits on days other than Wednesday is strongly discouraged. Past experience tell us that missing important parts of the Tuesday program can adversely impact the quality and effectiveness of the presentations made during the lobbying visit on Wednesday. Important information to use as part of the Hill visits may be missed. Additionally, when our speakers from Congress and the Administration are invited to appear before our group, they are told that they will be speaking in front of nearly 400 anesthesiologists and practice managers. Attending meetings while the Tuesday program is taking place, leaving the meeting for other reasons or even lingering in the foyer reduces the size of our audience which is often upsetting to our speakers. One year, due to attendees leaving during the program, a prominent health care policymaker spoke to less than 150 attendees instead of the promised 400 attendees. The speaker felt misled by ASA staff.
If a Congressional meeting cannot be scheduled for Wednesday, Thursday is the preferred alternative date. The ASA room block includes rooms for individuals departing Thursday and Friday.
Conference Agenda Availability
A large part of the Conference program consists of speakers that are not able to confirm their schedules more than 3-4 weeks in advance of the meeting, it will be weeks before a final program is available. The final schedule we be available in the very near future. This schedule will be regularly updated as speakers are confirmed.
Political Activity at the Conference
We commend our members for their high level of political involvement including providing financial support to candidates. Providing direct political support to candidates supportive of our specialty is a very important part of advocacy. However, for the purposes of the Legislative Conference “Hill Visits,” making political contributions is best left to another time. The Legislative Conference is a great opportunity to focus specifically on health care policy and legislation and to leave the campaign side of politics for later.
Certain sessions during this activity have been approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Those sessions will be noted on the agenda when it becomes available.
If you should have any other questions please contact Pat Daly, ASA grassroots program administrator in the ASA Washington, D.C. Office at (202) 289-2222 or by email at email@example.com.