ASCA Advocacy in 2016 ASC supporters in Congress face tough reelections BY DANIELLE KASTER
s the 2016 presidential election takes center stage, ASCA turns
its attention toward ASC supporters in Congress who are facing reelection this year.
According to the October edition
of The Rothenberg Political Report, there are 31 seats in the House of Representatives that could change political parties in this year’s elec- tions. Currently, Republicans hold the majority of seats in the House and the most seats they have held there since 1928. Democrats would need to gain 30 seats to flip control. In the Senate this year, Republi- cans are defending almost two dozen seats, while Democrats have only 10 members up for reelection. Histori- cally, presidential election years draw a larger Democratic voter turnout, while midterm elections see more Repub- licans head to the polls, so Demo- cratic candidates could have an edge this year. Fortunately, ASC supporters come from both sides of the aisle.
Supporters in the House Four members of the House who have established themselves as ASC cham- pions—two Republicans and two Democrats—are seeking reelection this year.
Renee Ellmers (R-NC-2) Representative Renee Ellmers has been a strong advocate for ASCs in North Carolina. In June 2014, she toured Raleigh Endoscopy Center and said, “From my experience, ambulatory sur- gery centers are much more efficient than hospitals.” She is a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee and that committee’s Health Subcom- mittee. The congresswoman is facing three primary opponents.
22 ASC FOCUS FEBRUARY 2016
Ami Bera (D-CA-7) While Representative Ami Bera has yet to see an official 2016 opponent, the Congressman made the National Republican Congressional Commit- tee’s (NRCC) Top Target list, meaning the Republicans are looking to prior- itize funding his opponent. He is one of only a few Democratic physicians in the House and a strong supporter of ASC issues.
Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM-3) Congressman Ben Ray Luján is also on the NRCC’s Top Target List. He sits on the Energy and Commerce Commit- tee and the Health Subcommittee and has been a strong supporter of the ASC community. No formally declared can- didates have entered the congressional race against Congressman Luján.
Devin Nunes (R-CA-22) Representative Nunes is one of the strongest supporters of ASC issues in the House. He sits on the Ways and Means Committee, which has primary jurisdiction over Medicare policy, and works routinely on health issues. Currently, he does not have a Democratic opponent.
Track the Latest Regulatory and Legislative News for ASCs
Visit ASCA’s web site every week to stay up to date on the latest government affairs news affecting the ASC industry. Every week, ASCA’s Government Affairs Update newsletter is posted online for ASCA members to read. The weekly newsletter tracks and analyzes the latest legislative and regulatory developments concerning ASCs.
Senate Champions Two members of the Senate who are up for reelection this year—one a Demo- crat and one a Republican—have long supported the ASC community.
Ron Wyden (D-OR) Senator Ron Wyden is running for his fourth Senate term in 2016. Now the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Com- mittee, he has promoted ASC interests for many years. He introduced the ASC Quality and Access Act of 2013.
Mike Crapo (R-ID) Senator Mike Crapo is also a mem- ber of the Senate Finance Committee. Like Wyden, he has long been an advo- cate for ASCs and regularly supports legislation that promotes the interests of ASCs. He is running for his fourth term and does not currently face a declared opponent in 2016.
ASCAPAC’s Role As part of ASCA’s advocacy efforts, ASCA operates a nonpartisan politi- cal action committee (PAC) known as ASCAPAC. ASCAPAC is governed by a board comprising 11 ASCA mem- bers. With voluntary contributions from ASCA member facilities and individual physicians, administrators and staff, the ASCAPAC Board of Directors makes strategic contributions to members of Congress. ASCAPAC also organizes ASC industry fundraising events for key members of Congress. ASCAPAC achieved a success rate of 93 percent in the 2014 election and hopes to continue that momentum in the 2016 election.
Contact Danielle Kaster at dkaster@ ascassociation.org
for more informa- tion about ASCAPAC.
Danielle Kaster is ASCA’s grassroots and political affairs manager. Write her at email@example.com
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