2011 Lobbying Fund Contributors
Being active and contributing to political activities has unfortunately become a necessary part of being a physician. Your lives are touched by federal and state legislators, federal and state leaders, federal and state regulators, and the multitude of bureaucrats and insurance companies and their lobbyists who do not necessarily represent the physician point of view to medical issues. We MUST be heard and to be heard we MUST participate in the political process which includes contributions to Political Action Committees and activities of our interest organizations.
ANESTHESIOLOGY POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS
The ASA has a federal political action committee that operates under federal law. These federal laws require the PAC to only accept personal money (not business or corporate funds) that can be given to a candidate for federal office. ASAPAC has a board consisting of Anesthesiologists who meet and decide upon the disbursement of funds. In addition to federal elections and as a result of individual states abilities to opt out of the supervision rule , several years ago the ASAPAC decided to invest in state Governor campaigns. Alabama has been a beneficiary of this decision. Art Boudreaux served on ASAPAC for a term of three years and was replaced by Jeff Plagenhoef. Dr. Plagenhoef's term ended and he was replaced by Aimee Walsh. Alabama has representation! The ASAPAC falls under the jurisdiction of the Committee on Governmental Affairs. Alabama has two members on this committee: Art Boudreaux and Michael Gosney. I am proud that Alabama has led the nation in fundraising for ASAPAC over the course of the past decade.
The ASSA does not have a state political action committee and instead has what we refer to as the ASSA Lobbying Fund. This entity, which is financed with after tax dollars, allows us to use funds in a variety of ways to advance our interests, such as hiring lobbyists, consultants or attorneys to assist our interests. This fund has also been valuable in allowing us to finance a Southeastern anesthesia reimbursement survey that has been beneficial in highlighting our case for the need to address the current manpower shortage issue in anesthesiology. It is vital that this fund continue to increase in size because the next battle is always just around the corner.
MEDICAL POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS
The MEDICAL ASSOCIATION OF THE STATE OF ALABAMA (MASA) has a political action committee named ALAPAC. This PAC is run by a secretary and has a Board that is appointed by the MASA President by congressional district with specific terms of office. We believe in supporting all medical PACs, but we also believe that PACs should represent our interests. Contribute and let your views be known to the PAC Board Members.
The AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION (AMA) has a political action committee (AMPAC). This political action committee supports medicine's interest nationally but AMPAC also supports many grass roots activities, activist training, and appears to be quite transparent and active. We suggest that you contribute to these activities through AMPAC.