As chairman of the National Emergency Medicine Political Action Committee (NEMPAC), I am proud of the work that the NEMPAC Board is doing to engage more and more ACEP members in the political process. Since only ACEP members can financially support NEMPAC our success is dependent upon the engagement and generosity of emergency physicians around the country who are committed to the future of the specialty and our patients.
A small, forward-thinking group of ACEP members founded NEMPAC in 1980 to help ACEP promote our legislative goals and express the concerns of emergency medicine to members of Congress. Back then, the founders determined they would need to raise $10,000 to make a difference on the issue of independent contractor status for emergency physicians. Today, due to the increased costs of running for office and the many issues that ACEP can influence in Congress, our goal is to raise more than $1 million annually. Even with this lofty goal, we are still only the fourth largest physician PAC!
Just like our Board today, NEMPAC’s founders were from all parts of the country and were “party” blind when it came to selecting candidates worthy of NEMPAC support. NEMPAC is the only national PAC solely dedicated to representing our bipartisan interests in the nation’s capital.
Over the years, NEMPAC has opened doors, educated new and veteran lawmakers, and helped emergency medicine identify friends and champions in the U.S. Congress. This access created opportunities to express our well-reasoned viewpoints on the issues of the day for nearly 40 years. Important issues have included physician payment reform, medical liability reform, solutions to the opioid and mental health crises, protecting the prudent layperson standard, and funding for research and graduate medical education.
Today, by combining and carefully allocating donations from thousands of individual emergency physicians, NEMPAC has grown to be one of most recognized and credible health care PACs in the nation and is the voice of emergency medicine in the political process.
Here is a brief history of NEMPAC’s inception, growth, and successes throughout our history.
1980: NEMPAC was formed by a few visionary ACEP members contributing $775 each.
1980s: ACEP Councillors urged during Annual Meeting to “help carry the water.”