Thank you to those 251 ACR members who supported RheumPAC in 2010. What do RheumPAC donations get rheumatologists? Access. Even with only 3.5% of ACR members supporting RheumPAC, doors have been opened and the voice of rheumatology is being heard.
RheumPAC is the nonpartisan political action committee (PAC) for the ACR. Any organization that wants to have a seat at the table while policy is being made needs to have a PAC. It is an important part of the legislative process and physicians should take the time to be educated on this topic. Is the PAC system the best? Probably not. Regardless of your thoughts on PACs, they are a part of the political process. Members of Congress would like to be (re-)elected so they can continue to serve—and it takes money to run a successful campaign. We need to work with the current structure of the government. The ACR is not large enough to create major change in the government, so we can either play or sit idly by and watch change happen to us. We must engage in the process and access these lawmakers. RheumPAC yields access. People often have misconceptions about PACs and the political process, so I encourage each and every ACR member to take five minutes to read this.
What is RheumPAC?
In 2010, 91% of RheumPAC-supported candidates were elected (or re-elected) to the 112th Congress.
I am happy to announce that 2011 is RheumPAC’s fourth anniversary. RheumPAC was created in 2007 to enhance the ACR’s increasing advocacy efforts. It is a federal PAC that follows the Federal Elections Commission laws. Only U.S. ACR members can contribute to RheumPAC, and its administrative costs are paid by the ACR. One hundred percent of all contributions to RheumPAC support congressional candidates.
What is RheumPAC really? What does it do for you? RheumPAC gets you access to key policymakers.
Each election cycle, the RheumPAC committee creates a list of members of Congress whom RheumPAC would like to support—they may be on key committees and/or support rheumatology issues. Typically, the member of Congress will host a fundraiser and a RheumPAC member will attend. The event provides RheumPAC with an opportunity to speak with the member of Congress in a small group setting. We have participated in 57 events over the past three years, including one for Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI). Here’s the e-mail an ACR member who attended the event sent to me afterwards: