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COVER STORY Reconciling Differences


Once the House and Senate pass sim- ilar versions of any bill, either on its own or as part of a package, any differ- ences between the passed versions must be reconciled before President Barack Obama can sign that bill into law. In the case of the EHR Fairness


Act, the House included the bill in part of a larger legislative package and the Senate passed the bill on its own. This means that there are two versions that must be made identical. At the time that this article is going to print, ASCA was working with House and Senate leaders on reconciliation of the two versions so that the EHR Fairness Act makes it to President Obama’s desk.


Conclusion As this story behind passage of the Elec- tronic Health Fairness Act demonstrates,


Tracking the Bill


Go to www.ascassociation.org/ electronichealthfairnessactof2015 to see the current status of the EHR Fairness Act.


having ASC champions in Congress and ASCA member constituents who engage with those members is imperative as a bill completes its journey into law. Last year, there were more than 3,850 bills introduced in the House of Repre- sentatives and 2,200 in the Senate. With- out elected officials who understand and appreciate the role of ASCs to advocate for legislation that supports ASCs, our bills would get lost in the shuffle. These champions are critical to pass- ing pro-ASC legislation and protecting the industry from harmful legislation


or regulations. That is why ASCA runs ASCAPAC, the industry’s non-partisan political action committee. ASCAPAC allows ASCA members to join together in supporting Congressional champions and ensuring that they have the resources necessary to remain in Congress. “While this Congress continues to


earn its reputation as a ‘do nothing’ Con- gress, it is clear that a concerted effort among ASCA, its constituent members, and industry partners can turn an indus- try problem into a solution,” Ashby says. ASCA and its members need to continue to do all we can to support these relationships. To learn more about how you can be involved, contact Danielle Kaster at dkaster@ascassociation.org.


Kristin Murphy is ASCA’s assistant director of legislative affairs. Write her at kmurphy@ascassociation.org.


12 ASC FOCUS FEBRUARY 2016


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