Health Reform Bill Passes in U.S. House of Representatives
“The American College of Cardiology opposes the AHCA in its current form, and is disappointed by its passage today in the U.S. House of Representatives,” said ACC President Mary Norine Walsh, MD, FACC. “As it stands, the AHCA would allow states to bypass existing federal protections for sick and elderly people, and potentially undermine coverage for critical services for patients with heart disease. This iteration of the AHCA is inconsistent with the ACC’s Principles for Health Reform, which reflect our belief in the importance of promoting patient access to meaningful insurance coverage and quality, cost-effective care.”
The ACC has previously expressed concerns about elements of the AHCA, particularly its impact on patient coverage. The College’s principles prioritize improved coverage for—and access to—efficient, high quality care; protection for individuals with pre-existing conditions; and continued national investment in preventive care, medical research and innovations.
“It is important for all members of Congress to prioritize protection for the most vulnerable Americans as health reform efforts move forward. The ACC will continue to work with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to create solutions that maintain patient access to the coverage and care they need,” said Walsh.
Get Involved in Grassroots
Through its advocacy efforts, the ACC builds relationships with Congress, federal government agencies, state legislative and regulatory bodies, private insurers and other policy making groups to advance the College’s mission of improving heart health.
In 2016, the College’s advocacy priorities include creating a value-driven health care system; ensuring patient access to care and cardiovascular practice stability; promoting the use of clinical data to improve care; fostering research and innovation in cardiovascular care; and improving population health and preventing cardiovascular disease.
Member participation in advocacy efforts is crucial to shaping the future of cardiology. See how ACC members are ensuring cardiology’s voice is heard at the local, state and national level. Now is the time to get involved! Find out how you can make a difference by visiting ACC.org/Advocacy or contacting your Chapter Executive!
ACC PAC at Work
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* In response to the 2010 Medicare Physician Fee Schedule, ACC worked with Congress and the Administration to achieve a 4 year phase-in of most scheduled cuts to cardiovascular-related services to help physicians adjust to the changes.
* ACC has since worked with Representative Charlie Gonzalez (D-Texas) and 65 other congressional signatories on a letter sent to CMS urging them to phase-in reimbursement cuts to SPECT MPI.
* ACC has worked with Rep. Charlie Gonzalez (D-Texas) to introduce legislation (H.R. 4371) addressing these cuts to cardiology. The bill currently has 125 co-sponsors.
* Since January 1, 2009, ACCPAC has disbursed over $750,000 to over 200 congressional candidates and committees, $60,000 of which was disbursed to members of the California delegation.100 percent of personal contributions to the PAC from ACC members are used to fund such disbursements.
* Between 2009 and 2010 so far, ACCPAC has arranged 80 private, personal meetings between FACCs and their members of Congress. Facilitating strong and lasting relationships between our members and their federal lawmakers is at the core of ACCPAC’s mission.
Legislative News Archive
AZ voters to consider ban on health-care mandate
By Howard Fischer / Capitol Media Services
[June 2009] PHOENIX — Arizonans will get a second chance to decide if they want to be able to opt out of any national health insurance plan approved by Congress. Without debate, the state Senate on Monday voted 18-11 to put a proposal on the 2010 ballot that would constitutionally override any law, rule or regulation requiring individuals or employers to participate in any particular health-care system.
The House already has approved the measure. HCR 2014, if approved by voters next year, also would prohibit fines or penalties on anyone or any company for deciding to buy health care directly. Doctors and health-care providers would remain free to accept those funds and provide those services.
Finally, it would overrule anything that prohibits the sale of private health insurance in Arizona. The push comes as Congress is debating the concept of some sort of national health insurance plan, a plan foes have equated to the national plans of Canada and Britain.
At the moment, President Obama is not proposing a single provider or insurer. Instead, the discussion is revolving around creation of a company run by the government to compete with private carriers. But the plan, at least for the time being, is expected to include some sort of mandatory purchase. That could involve companies being forced to provide insurance for their workers as well as a requirement that every person obtain coverage or face financial penalties.
Opponents say that would limit health-care choices. The measure is similar to an initiative put on the ballot last year by Eric Novack, a Phoenix orthopedic surgeon. He argued that state constitutional protections are necessary to the rights of individuals to decide on their own health care. But the initiative was narrowly defeated, at least in part amid concerns that the change would undermine the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, the state’s Medicaid program.
Rep. Nancy Barto, R-Phoenix, agreed to push the proposal through the Legislature to save Novack and his allies the cost of gathering signatures to put the measure back on the ballot.
[ Source ]