On behalf of the Society for Vascular Surgery® (SVS) Political Action Committee (PAC), I want to thank all SVS members who contributed to the PAC in 2012. Your contributions totaled more than $106,000, which is the most ever raised in one year by the SVS PAC. One hundred percent of this money was used to attend fundraisers for Congressional members and non-incumbent candidates who are supportive of our issues.
The SVS PAC celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2012, ending our first Decade of Access to Congress. This is the only PAC that is totally focused on the interests of vascular surgeons, particularly our reimbursement and our patients. The PAC has been a catalyst for positive action for us, including the following:
• A freeze on Medicare physician payment vs. large cuts for the last eight years
• Removal of barriers to AAA screening
• Averting additional cuts to vascular ultrasound for the last five years
• Passage of the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) repeal and medical liability reform by the House of Representatives
• And most important, being “at the table” for Medicare physician payment reform.
With 2012 being an election year for the entire House of Representatives, one-third of the Senate, and the President, SVS PAC fundraising by incumbent/new candidates was at an all-time high. These races provided SVS additional opportunities to educate candidates about our issues. Two new physicians, Ami Bera, MD (D-CA) and Raul Ruiz, MD (D-CA) joined the 17 other physicians who were re-elected to Congress.
While I am happy to report the good news above, we still have work to do. Only 7 percent of the SVS membership contributed to the PAC in 2012. We owe it to our patients to protect and advocate for the resources that will often determine whether they live or die, lose or keep a limb, suffer a stroke or continue to live a happy and normal life.
I acknowledge the six vascular group practices that had 100 percent participation by their SVS members, and our SVS leadership, who increased their PAC support in 2012. We look forward to announcing more vascular group practices with 100 percent participation and 100 percent participation by our leadership in 2013.
Also, we look forward to hosting all of our SVS PAC contributors at an exclusive PAC reception with special guests during the 2013 Vascular Annual Meeting® in San Francisco. We will celebrate this past year’s achievements and anticipate our next set of challenges.
Last but not least, we want to thank Carlo A. Dall’Olmo, MD, for his many years of service as SVS PAC Chair. Without his leadership, the PAC would not have developed a presence that is recognized by so many members of Congress.
David Deaton, MD
SVS PAC Chair