March 11, 2022
President Biden Delivers First State of the Union Address
President Biden delivered his first State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday March 1 and addressed several ASA priorities -- taking care of Veterans, improving mental health care, and addressing the opioid epidemic. President Biden expressed strong commitment to the care of America’s Veterans, saying, “Veterans are the best of us. I’ve always believed that we have a sacred obligation to equip all those we send to war and care for them and their families when they come home.” ASA applauds the president’s commitment to ensuring Veterans receive the highest quality health care that they have earned and deserve. ASA continues to advocate for safe, physician-led anesthesia care within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and opposes any efforts from VA that threatens the health and safety of Veterans by removing physician-led, team-based anesthesia care in VA facilities. Anesthesiologists have specialized, focused training to care for patients with complex medical problems like advanced respiratory disease and neurologic cancers highlighted in the president’s address.
On the frontlines of the pandemic, health care professionals have suffered under the strain of constant stress and the specter of disease. President Biden acknowledged efforts to tackle mental health and expand access to mental health services. ASA is proud of the work Congress has done to address the mental health and well-being of physicians and other health care professionals and celebrates the passage of the Dr. Lorna Breen Health Care Provider Protection Act.
President Biden also championed the brave fight of 23 million Americans in recovery from addiction and renewed his efforts to beat the opioid pandemic. ASA has long been a partner in this fight, with anesthesiologists leading the way in non-opioid options for pain and treatments for addiction.
Read the full State of the Union address.