Responders to the recent ACR membership survey emphasized the importance of political advocacy for their practices and institutions. RheumPAC, the ACR’s political action committee, was created in February 2007 to focus on the legislative issues affecting the rheumatology community.
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Explore This IssueJune 2008
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RheumPAC offers a way for ACR and ARHP members to collectively raise money that will be used to contribute to campaigns of members of Congress—and will enhance rheumatology’s political access to them as well. Since its inception, RheumPAC has raised over $30,000, and recently made its first contribution. During the 2008 Advocates for Arthritis visit to Washington, D.C., the RheumPAC committee unanimously selected Representative Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) to receive the PAC’s first contribution.
Rep. Berkley is the lead sponsor of the “Medicare Fracture Prevention and Osteoporosis Testing Act” (H.R.4206) and she has shown incredible leadership regarding fair reimbursement for DXA.
Rep. Berkley was the keynote speaker at the “Advocates for Arthritis” welcome dinner held in Washington, D.C. in February. There, she received a standing ovation for her passionate—and humorous—speech about her first DXA scan. As the wife of a physician and a patient herself, Rep. Berkley understands the issues affecting physicians and has demonstrated great care for the rheumatology community and women’s health issues.
As RheumPAC moves into its second year, the ACR and ARHP encourage members to put their words into action by truly understanding the importance of political advocacy and the need for the entire membership to get involved in grassroots movements.
Congress makes the laws. It has the authority to permanently fix the Sustainable Growth Rate, adequately reimburse physicians for DXA scans, pass the “Arthritis Prevention, Control, and Cure Act of 2007,” and increase research funding to the National Institutes of Health. If each ACR and ARHP member commits to making one phone call, sending one e-mail, or joining one advocacy event, the impact on Capitol Hill will be great.