November 10-15

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Home // 2018 year in review: Update on RheumPAC and ACR/ARHP advocacy

2018 year in review: Update on RheumPAC and ACR/ARHP advocacy


4 minutes

During this important campaign year, we are reminded of the significant efforts and successes of RheumPAC on behalf of ACR/ARHP members and their patients in Washington, D.C. 2018 has been a hugely successful year for ACR/ARHP advocacy. We are proud to share the accomplishments that were made possible through RheumPAC.

To date, 2018 advocacy successes include:

  • Permanently repealing arbitrary caps on Medicare outpatient therapies
  • Preventing the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) from forming, which would have issued opinions carrying the weight of legislation with no congressional review
  • Keeping Part B drug costs out of the MIPS calculation under MACRA
  • Influencing CMS to revisit pharmacy gag clauses
  • Furthering federal step therapy legislation
  • Introducing a Senate companion bill offering an electronic prior authorization option for Medicare Part D prescriptions
  • Introducing an amendment to add support for arthritis research to the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program at the Department of Defense

We are proud of these accomplishments and will continue to fight for the rheumatology community by educating members of Congress and their staff on the issues impacting you, your practice, your research, and your patients with resources from RheumPAC, the only nonpartisan federal political action committee (PAC) dedicated solely to rheumatology. RheumPAC facilitates advocacy successes through the relationships and access created by these resources.

Advocacy success is accomplished through a three-pronged system: political contributions from RheumPAC, grassroots contact from member-voters who report the impact of policies on doctors and patients in the district through constituent communications and Capitol Hill visits, and our professional staff lobbyists who maintain relationships with and educate elected officials and their staff on issues impacting rheumatology.

PACs allow for large groups of people with a singular shared interest to have a voice in politics. An organization such as the ACR/ARHP represents a varied membership with one voice to lobby for their collective professional policy interests. In this way, the College unifies member resources to support full-time lobbyists and build and maintain relationships with the more than 500 members of Congress.

RheumPAC’s resources are made up of the generous contributions of ACR/ARHP members who understand the importance of a voice in the policy process. All disbursements from RheumPAC are considered and voted on by the ACR’s RheumPAC Committee, which is made up of ACR/ARHP members representing various regions, areas of practice, and political opinions.

Our successes are due to all of our Rheum­PAC investors who have contributed more than $98,000 to our efforts this year. 2018 is on track to be record setting in both participation and dollars. Every name and every dollar increases our influence in Washington, D.C. in this important election year. We especially want to thank providers who have invested at the Platinum Club ($1,000-$1,999) and Leadership Circle ($2,000+) levels already this year:*

Leadership Circle ($2,000+):

David Borenstein, MD

Arthritis and Rheumatism Associates (Washington, D.C.)

Nilsa Cruz, BS

Milwaukee Rheumatology Center (Milwaukee, WI)

Paul DeMarco, MD

Arthritis and Rheumatism Associates (Wheaton, MD)

Max Hamburger, MD

Rheumatology Associates of Long Island (Melville, NY)

Jody Hargrove, MD

Arthritis & Rheumatology Consultants
(Edina, MN)

William Harvey, MD, MSc

Tufts Medical Center (Boston, MA)

Stuart Kassan, MD

Colorado Arthritis Associates (Lakewood, CO)

Charles King II, MD

Tupelo Rheumatology & Osteoporosis Center (Tupelo, MS)

Sharad Lakhanpal, MBBS, MD

Rheumatology Associates (Dallas, TX)

Jeffrey Lawson, MD

Piedmont Arthritis Clinic (Greenville, SC)

Gwenesta Melton, MD

Lafayette Clinic (Fayetteville, NC)

Stephanie Ott, MD

Fairfield Medical Center (Lancaster, OH)

Meera Oza, MD

Arthritis/Osteoporosis Treatment Center (Orange Park, FL)

William Palmer, MD

Westroads Medical Group (Omaha, NE)

Ellison Smith, MD

Asheville Arthritis (Asheville, NC)

Karina Torralba, MD, MACM

Loma Linda University Division of Rheumatology (Loma Linda, CA)

Grace Wright, MD, PhD

NYU Langone Health (New York, NY)

Platinum Club

Herb Baraf, MD (Wheaton, MD)

Hazel Breland, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, CLA (Charleston, SC)

Michael Brooks, MD (Cedar Rapids, IA)

Gary Bryant, MD (Minneapolis, MN)

Cathy Chapman, MD (Cordova, TN)

Deborah Desir, MD (Woodbridge, CT)

Gerald Eisenberg, MD (Highland Park, Il)

Joseph Flood, MD(Columbus, OH)

Kristin Gowin, MD (Asheville, NC)

Edward Herzig, MD (Cincinnati, OH)

Gene Huffstutter, MD (Hixson, TN)

Kwas Huston, MD (Kansas City, MO)

Kevin Kempf, MD (San Antonio, TX)

Daniel Malone, MD, RMSK, FACR
 (Madison, WI)

Rudy Molina, MD (San Antonio, TX)

Mark Niemer, MD (Dubuque, IA)

Raymond Scalettar, MD, DSc (Potomac, MD)

Evan Siegel, MD (Wheaton, MD)

Richard Yonker, DO (Sarasota, FL)

*Contributions made after August 21, 2018, not included due to publication deadline.