Over the past two years, we have heard presidential candidates touting their messages to voters. Each candidate has crafted messages they believe will appeal to voters, and as campaigns continue to accelerate, these messages will saturate the radio, television, and the reading materials of the American public.
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Explore This IssueMarch 2008
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Leading up to the election, “From the College” will profile both Republican and Democratic candidates and their healthcare messages and plans. This nonpartisan look at the candidates will give the rheumatology community an opportunity to see where candidates stand on issues that affect them and the patients they serve.
If you are not sure where to vote or if you need to register, please either call or visit the Web site of your state’s secretary of state.
If you have questions concerning any legislative or government affairs issues, contact Kristin Wormley, director of government affairs, at [email protected].
The ACR does not support any specific political candidates. This look at both Republican and Democratic nominees is a service of information, not an endorsement.
Legislative Issues Affecting the Rheumatology Community
The ACR government affairs staff works closely with members to lobby Congress on issues that affect rheumatologists, healthcare professionals, and the patients they serve. Below is a closer look at three of the issues on the ACR’s political radar:
- Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR): The SGR is part of the formula used to calculate physician reimbursement for Medicare. Unfortunately, the basic premise of the formula is flawed. Repairing the SGR formula is imperative to ensure that physicians will be fairly compensated and that patients will have access to appropriate care.
- Dual energy X-Ray absorptiometry (DXA): The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 dealt a major blow to imaging studies—including DXA. DXA reimbursement will be cut by 75% by 2010 if Congress does not act now. The Deficit Reduction Act’s practice expense changes decrease the reimbursement for this important preventative service from approximately $140 to $35.
- NIH Funding: The ACR advocates for an increase in funding for federal programs engaged in vital research to combat arthritis and related diseases. Support for these programs is essential to continuing the search for innovative treatments that can help millions of Americans live longer, healthier, and more productive lives, and is critical to developing more effective treatments, decreasing costs, and improving the quality of life for patients suffering from rheumatic diseases.
- Arthritis Legislation: The Arthritis, Prevention, Control and Cure Act would expand efforts to discover and implement new ways to prevent, treat, and care for patients with arthritis and related rheumatic diseases. This legislation would enhance rheumatic disease research and public awareness of these often debilitating diseases.