February 24, 2021
ASA Physician Leaders Spend Day on Capitol Hill – Virtually
On Monday, February 22, ASA leadership spent the day virtually meeting with senior congressional staff to discuss health policy items for the 117th Congress and important ASA issues.
This annual event, called the “ASA EC Day in Washington,” was attended by ASA President Beverly Philip, M.D., FASA, FACA, President-Elect Randall Clark, M.D., FASA, Immediate Past President Mary Dale Peterson, M.D., FASA, First Vice President Michael Champeau, M.D., FASA, Vice President for Professional Affairs Jeffrey Mueller, M.D, FASA, Chief Health Policy Officer Joseph Szokol, M.D., J.D., M.B.A., FASA, Chief Executive Officer Paul Pomerantz, as well as members of the ASA advocacy division staff.
Throughout the day of meetings, members of the ASA Executive Committee met with staff from key Committees in both the House and Senate to discuss priorities of the new Congress and to provide the legislative staff with insights into key ASA issues and their importance for the continued delivery of safe anesthesia care. Topics of discussion included maintaining the physician-led anesthesia care team in VA hospitals, the current federal budget reconciliation process and how it will be leveraged to achieve changes in the Affordable Care Act and other health policy; extending the moratorium on Medicare sequestration cuts, concerns with public option insurance proposals including the use of Medicare payment structures as a benchmark, Medicare payment disparities and their impact on anesthesia (33% problem), surprise medical billing, the tightening of health insurance networks and canceling of contracts by insurers in the midst of the global pandemic, persistent issues with drug shortages, and additional conversations surrounding COVID-19, supply chains, personal protective equipment, etc.
ASA thanks physician leadership and congressional staff for their continued participation in this yearly event and looks forward to continuing to work alongside lawmakers on the many pressing issues affecting patient safety and the specialty.