“Even well-meaning members of Congress don’t understand healthcare like we do,” said Indiana Congressman Larry Bucshon, MD (R-IN). The freshman Congressman was among the invited speakers at a special reception held June 6, 2012 in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C. In attendance were 75 SVS donors celebrating the 10th anniversary of the SVS PAC.
“We truly understand healthcare,” said Bucshon, a board certified cardiothoracic surgeon. “For those of us in DC with a healthcare background, we have a GOP doctor’s caucus.” Congressman Bucshon’s wife, Kathryn, is a practicing anesthesiologist.
“Right now, we’re all waiting for the Supreme Court’s decision on health care,” he said. “Upon learning their decision, we have plans to alter or address healthcare reform. We’re also hoping to fix the SGR (Sustainable Growth Rate formula used to determine Medicare physician payment).”
Access to members of Congress who determine legislation that affects healthcare is the focus of the SVS PAC. “I’ve been a supporter of the SVS PAC since its inception,” said SVS member and reception attendee, Michael Dalsing, MD. “We can either ignore healthcare legislation or we can influence change. I say, give up a good dinner and support SVS PAC.”
Krishna Jain, MD, agrees. An ardent SVS PAC supporter, this SVS member recognizes the importance of involvement in the political process. “Every vascular surgeon should make friends with their Congressman and Senators,” said Dr. Jain. “That one-on-one relationship is extremely valuable.
“I’ve been friends with my representatives in Michigan for the past 22 years. I know that votes have been changed thanks to my personal relationship. I would suggest to my colleagues to attend a few fundraisers. Make the effort to become involved.”
During the formal reception on Capitol Hill, SVS members embraced the opportunity to initiate relationships with Congressmen Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Gene Green (D-TX). Both members of Congress are dedicated advocates for healthcare legislation. Rep. Green sponsored the SAAVE Act that added AAA screening to Medicare.
To learn more about the SVS PAC, log onto: http://www.vascularweb.org/healthpolicyandgovernmentrelations/Pages/svs-pac.aspx