The new Congress will need to deal with the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) again as well. There was a bipartisan, bicameral agreement earlier this year to repeal the SGR and replace it with a performance-based payment system. Six key committees and both the House and the Senate agreed to the permanent fix. The House passed the fix, but it was not taken up by the Senate. Instead, Congress passed another “patch,” which runs through March 31, 2015. A permanent fix to the SGR would cost about $140 billion over 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Congress continues to struggle with agreeing on the offset.
In coordinated grassroots efforts, ACEP and a coalition of physician groups including the AMA, is urging Congress to repeal the SGR before Congress adjourns for the year.
ACEP Advocacy With the New Congress
As the 2014 Congressional elections began to take shape, we heard from ACEP members around the country and from leaders in our state chapters about candidates in their states and home districts who were worthy of consideration by the NEMPAC Board of Trustees. More than 150 ACEP members hosted ED visits for congressional candidates to educate them on issues of particular concern to emergency physicians and their patients, interviewed and educated candidates, attended fund-raisers in their home districts, and presented NEMPAC checks to candidates.
In the upcoming weeks before the 114th Congress convenes, ACEP staff in the Washington, D.C., office will begin a campaign to meet as many newly elected members as possible and will be working to set up introductory meetings back home with ACEP members either through emergency department visits or more informal coffees. If you are interested in meeting with your member of Congress in the next few months, please contact Jeanne Slade in the ACEP office at email@example.com. We will provide you with talking points and materials to help you educate your legislator on issues of importance to emergency medicine.
Ms. Slade is ACEP’s political action director.