November 13, 2023
More than 50 Lawmakers Join Legislative Effort to Ensure Safe Anesthesia Care for Veterans
Today, H.R. 3347, the Protect Lifesaving Anesthesia Care for Veterans Act reached a milestone of more than 50 bipartisan cosponsors. This ASA-supported bill would prohibit the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs from removing physician anesthesiologists from the team of professionals providing surgical services to Veterans in VA hospitals.
“I applaud the more than 50 lawmakers from across the political spectrum for coming together to protect our nations’ Veterans. Our nation’s toxic exposed PACT Act Veterans, in particular, deserve only the highest standard of care,” said ASA President Ronald L. Harter, M.D., FASA. “By cosponsoring this important legislation, these lawmakers demonstrate the growing momentum for ensuring Veterans’ access to the exact same standard of care as every other citizen in their state. Veterans in Georgia, New York and Ohio should have access to the same standard of care, not a lesser standard than civilians receive. We look forward to more lawmakers joining this legislation and we urge Congress to quickly advance H.R. 3347.”
The bill was introduced by Representatives David Scott (D-GA-13), Yvette Clarke (D-NY-9), Andrew Garbarino (R-NY-2), and Michael Turner (R-OH-10), to guarantee that our Veterans will continue to receive the exact same standard of anesthesia care as other Americans. Recently, the VA Office of Nursing Services proposed eliminating VA’s highly successful anesthesiologist-certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) team-based model of anesthesia, moving VA hospitals to a CRNA nurse-only model of anesthesia. Physician anesthesiologists complete between 12,000 and 16,000 hours of clinical training, whereas CRNAs are only required to complete 2,500 hours of clinical training. CRNAs do not attend medical school or complete a medical residency. Anesthesiology is a complex medical specialty that requires physician leadership. Anesthesiologists and CRNAs are not interchangeable professionals.
About the American Society of Anesthesiologists
Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 57,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care every patient deserves.
For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the American Society of Anesthesiologists online at asahq.org. To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit asahq.org/madeforthismoment. Like ASA on Facebook and follow ASALifeline on Twitter.