|Registration desk will be open
|A special briefing for medical students and residents/fellows in-training
|Grassroots advocacy training session
- How to Set up Your Congressional Visits
- Leadership Day Tips
- Find Your Elected Official
- Key Committee Info
- 114th Congress Members in Transition
- Physicians & Relatives - 114th Congress
- Travel Information
Message from Bob Doherty and Shuan Tomlinson
Welcome to Leadership Day 2015, ACP’s annual advocacy day event held in Washington, D.C. that enables the College to increase its presence on Capitol Hill and bring our issues of concern to U.S. lawmakers. Leadership Day will be held at the Westin Washington D.C. City Center Hotel again this year, located at 1400 M Street NW, Washington, DC. The hotel is a short metro ride or taxi to Congressional offices.
We have an exciting program and experience in store for you, including many educational briefings on the key policies you will be discussing with lawmakers as well as an opportunity for you to socialize with your colleagues.
This year is unique because, for the first time since 2002, our policy priorities for Leadership Day might NOT involve advocating for repeal of Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula. We say “might” because the House recently passed comprehensive SGR-repeal legislation, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2), and the Senate is expected to take up the bill in the coming days. We are hopeful that the Senate will pass it, although we are not taking anything for granted.
While we welcome and urge enactment of H.R. 2, and look forward to the day when the SGR will be gone forever, this presents an opportunity (and challenge) in getting Congress to address other pressing concerns we have this year, such as the urgent need to extend the Medicare Primary Care Incentive Program (PCIP) beyond its 2015 expiration date and to reauthorize and fund the Medicaid Primary Care Pay Parity Program, which expired in 2014. We also have important priorities regarding Graduate Medicare Education (GME) financing and physician workforce shortages.
Key policy issues for Leadership Day
ACP has developed a new dynamic guide to the top issues affecting internal medicine specialists and their patients. These issues, and perhaps others, will be the focus of our priorities for Leadership Day. In the guide, we not only cover the key issues that Congress should address but we do it in a manner that allows you to see the issues evolve in real-time. As the circumstances or events in Congress change, the guide will be updated, so we encourage attendees to keep checking the guide. At a point in time closer to Leadership day, all attendees will be notified and directed to our final policy “asks” of Congress.
Political Climate and Other Issues in 2015
In 2015, we not only have a new Republican majority in Congress but we have a new Congress period, which began in January. The 114th Congress has 73 new freshman members and this is an opportunity for Leadership Day attendees to educate these members about issues important to internal medicine.
The Republicans now hold the majority in both the U.S. House and the Senate and that means they will tend to focus on fiscal discipline, more limited government, and continued efforts to dismantle the underlying principles in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This does not mean that ACP’s priorities are necessarily at-odds with those principles, but rather we have to be prepared to address those elements in the context of our issues. And, while we expect efforts to dismantle the ACA will continue, major changes to the ACA are not likely to be enacted because the Obama Administration would not agree to them. The greater concern at this point is the impending ruling by the Supreme Court in the summer as to the constitutionality of federal subsidies for federally-operated health exchanges under the ACA because if the Court decides in favor of the plaintiff, all those receiving subsidies through a federally-operated health insurance exchange would lose coverage.
We now also have newly-elected leadership in both chambers and a new make-up in the membership of the key health care committees that develop legislation. All legislation that might have existed prior to Jan. 1 now must be reconstituted from scratch, reintroduced with new bill numbers, before moving through the legislative process.
Leadership Program and Logistics:
The official Leadership Day program will begin Wednesday, May 20 at around 12:45 PM with opening remarks from the President of ACP and the Chair of the Board of Governors followed by in-depth issue briefings by key congressional and Administration staff. Attendees will hear from a host of Washington insiders who will assess the current political environment and its impact on ACP issues.
An optional grassroots advocacy training session will be offered on Wednesday morning, May 20, at 10:30 AM to help our first-time attendees prepare for their Hill visits. The training will be interactive, lively and well worth the time commitment.
The registration desk will be open on Wednesday morning, May 20, at 8:00 AM for attendees to pick up briefing packets and name badges. On Wednesday, a light lunch will also be provided for all participants.
As for evening activities on Wednesday (May 20), there will be two receptions held early that evening, one exclusively for members of the ACP Services PAC and one for medical students and residents/fellows in-training. There will be no formal dinner that evening; allowing attendees to enjoy dinner on their own in Washington or gathering with their chapters to coordinate for the following day’s congressional meetings. A list of nearby restaurants including relatively inexpensive ones will be provided.
We will start our Capitol Hill Day, Thursday, May 21 at the Westin Washington D.C. City Center Hotel (National Ballroom) with breakfast and remarks from key members of Congress. Immediately following the presentations, attendees will disperse to their scheduled congressional appointments on Capitol Hill. Please note that the Westin Hotel is a short taxi cab or metro ride away from Capitol Hill and attendees are responsible for those transportation costs. A hospitality/debriefing room on Capitol Hill will be available throughout the day of May 21 for attendees in the Capitol Building, Room HC-5 (House side of the Capitol) from 9:00 AM -5:00 PM.
Selecting Your Chapter’s Delegation – Those you might consider for your delegation include: Governors, Governors-Elect, Regents, Health and Public Policy Chairs, Advocates, medical students and residents/fellows in-training members. (For a list of Advocates from your state that have been particularly engaged in the legislative process, please contact Shuan Tomlinson, Senior Analyst, State Health Policy and Grassroots, at 1-800-338-2746, Ext. 4547 or by E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Leadership Day Registration – The Leadership Day online registration form and link to the Westin hotel reservation site are available on the Leadership Day webpage. Governors/chapters can register their chapter’s participants online or simply forward the online registration form to the individuals being asked to participate.
Hotel/Flight Reservations – Hotel reservations can also be made for the Westin Washington D.C. City Center hotel online (a link is also available on the Leadership Day webpage) or by phone at 202-429-1700. If you call in your hotel reservations, our block rooms are under ACP Leadership Day. Room requests and rates cannot be guaranteed after April 27 so please reserve now if you have not already.
As you are aware, three major airports service the Washington D.C. area, Ronald Reagan National Airport, Dulles International Airport, and the Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI). You may find substantial savings with flights into BWI. While the trip from BWI to downtown Washington is longer than the trip from Ronald Reagan National Airport, limousine/shuttle service is available. BWI is only a few miles farther from downtown Washington than Dulles Airport. During weekday travel, MARC trains make frequent trips from the BWI airport to Washington’s Union Station (one-way ticket starts at $11). A free shuttle is available for the 5-minute ride from the BWI Airport, baggage claim level to the BWI rail station. Go to: http://www.bwiairport.com/en/travel/ground-transportation/trans/marc for more information and the MARC Penn Line train schedule.
Arranging Your Chapter’s Hill Meetings for Thursday, May 21 – For those chapters that are scheduling their own congressional meetings, contact information for U.S. Senators and U.S. House Members is available online on http://capwiz.com/acponline/dbq/officials/ – (pocketsize congressional directories will also be available at the registration desk on Leadership Day). For those chapters scheduling their own meetings, please fill out and fax to Shuan Tomlinson at 202-835-0042 the enclosed form entitled “Appointments Arranged Form.” Having this information in advance will give the governmental affairs staff the information they need to tailor their advice to you for your individual meetings. Those chapters that have asked us to schedule their congressional meetings will receive their congressional visits schedule at Leadership Day on May 20 and May 21.
For other information or questions about Leadership Day, please contact Shuan Tomlinson, Senior Analyst, State Health Policy & Grassroots at 1-800-338-2746, Ext. 4547 or by email at email@example.com.
Chapter participation in Leadership Day and the Advocates for Internal Medicine Network are the bedrocks of ACP’s advocacy program. Thank you for your chapter's support and we look forward to seeing you at Leadership Day!