District VII lobbies Congress on ob-gyn issues
Dana G. Stone, MD, District VII legislative chair
Thank you to all the District VII members who attended the Congressional Leadership Conference (CLC), March 2–4, in Washington, DC. The meeting grows every year with new and returning members eager to learn about current ACOG legislative priorities. This year’s theme, “Spotlight on the Center,” gave members from each section in the district a chance to hear from moderate legislators in both parties.
In addition to general advocacy training, attendees learned about ACOG’s specific legislative goals for the year:
- Medical liability reform that gives physicians protection from lawsuits when they follow medical guidelines
- A permanent repeal and replacement of the flawed sustainable growth rate formula for physician payment under Medicare
- An increase in residency slots to address the developing physician shortage
- Inclusion of ob-gyns in the Medicaid payment increase for primary care providers
Members from each section met with their representatives and senators to urge them to support these issues.
The Ob-GynPAC party at the historic Daughters of the American Revolution National Headquarters gave everyone a chance to relax and raise funds for ACOG’s federal political action committee. The PAC is bipartisan and effective at helping elect friends of medicine to Congress. Last election cycle, the PAC raised more than $1 million, which gave ACOG a great deal of recognition on Capitol Hill. The PAC is well on its way to reaching the $1 million goal again.
All ACOG members and spouses can contribute to the PAC and relay information about candidates who deserve its support. Contact me if you have questions about the PAC or would like to contribute. (You will not be favored or disadvantaged by reason of the amount of your contribution or a decision not to contribute. Contributions from foreign nationals are not permitted.)
J. Martin Tucker, MD, District VII chair, has challenged each section to send at least four ACOG members to the CLC next year. The district and sections help sponsor some attendees, though all members are welcome to attend. Next year’s CLC will be held March 8–10. Let me know if you have an interest in attending. You will find it a fascinating way to learn about ACOG’s policies. Members are often surprised at how much they enjoy meeting with members of Congress. Let’s rise to the challenge and have each section send four new or returning members to the CLC next year.