July 28, 2000
WEEKLY UPDATE for July 28, 2000
There will be no Weekly Update in August with the
exception of a Special Regulatory Update mid month. Have
a good August!
Patient Protections-Behind the
Labor-HHS Appropriations Conference
911 LEGISLATIVE NETWORK UPDATE
Thank You to
Active 911 Network Members!
Political Events at
ACEP's Scientific Assembly
The countdown is on! There are only 103 days until
Election Day on November 7. Congress adjourned for their
August Recess on July 27 and will return on September 5
for the Senate and September 6 for the House. Even
though the Republican leadership has extended the
workweek to include Fridays for legislative business,
this leaves only 20 scheduled days until the targeted
and final adjournment on October 6. Needless to say, the
remaining legislative decisions will be made with an eye
on politics and completing their work so that they can
return home to campaign.
Patient Protections-Behind the Scenes Action!
The death of Sen. Paul Coverdell (R-GA) and the
appointment of former-Governor Zell Miller (D-GA) to
fill his seat until the November election has changed
the dynamics of the patient protections debate.
Conference Chair Don Nickles (R-OK) knows that having an
extra Democratic vote for an effective patients' bill of
rights, along with the four cross over votes of Sens.
Arlen Specter (R-PA), Lincoln Chaffee (R-RI), Peter
Fitzgerald (R-IL), and John McCain (R-AZ) adds up to a
tie in the vote. Vice President Al Gore would be brought
in to swing the equation in favor of the language in the
Norwood-Dingell bill. Senators and their staff from both
parties have been working to broker a deal satisfactory
to both parties that the President can sign.
This week in the House a series of closed door
meetings week failed to produce a compromise. Rep.
Charlie Norwood (R-GA) has been meeting with Democrats
and Republicans in an attempt to forge a deal. Speaker
Hastert (R-IL) has been meeting with Sen. Nickles (R-OK)
in hopes of moving the Senate closer to the House-passed
patients' bill of rights. Even though these talks failed
to produce a tangible result, Members and staff remain
optimistic a compromise bill can be developed before the
end of this Congress.
Labor-HHS Appropriations Conference
House-Senate Republican conferees on the Labor-HHS
Appropriations bill completed their work late Thursday
evening. We're told they agreed to increased funding for
poison control centers, trauma center planning and some
of the Administration's request. Of special interest,
the conferees dropped the Nickles patients' bill of
rights amendment. Ranking House Democrat Obey (D-WI)
reports that the President will veto the agreement.
THIS AUGUST MAKE A CALL TO YOUR
SENATORS-ESPECIALLY IN PA, MI, MO, MN,
This August look for the battle to move
to the media especially in those states where there are
tough Senate campaigns in play. These targets are Sens.
Rick Santorum (R-PA), Spence Abraham (R-MI), John
Ashcroft (R-MO), Rod Grams (R-MN), Bill Roth (R-DE).
Already the pharmaceutical industry has spent $34
million to prevent the enactment of any prescription
drug benefits. Industry experts expect that another $65
million will be spent by the insurance industry and
pharmaceutical companies to prevent legislation this
fall. Physicians and other health care providers don't
have the media budgets to compete, but phone calls will
make a difference! So, us your pick up the phone and
make that call by using your toll-free 911 Legislative
Network card to contact your Senators' office in
Washington, DC. The message is simply...WHEN YOU
RETURN TO WASHINGTON IN SEPTEMBER, VOTE FOR A PATIENTS'
BILL OF RIGHTS THAT INCLUDES THE EMERGENCY SERVICES
PROVISIONS FROM THE NORWOOD-DINGELL BILL COVERING ALL
161 MILLION INSURED.
911 LEGISLATIVE NETWORK UPDATE
Thank You to Active 911 Network
Members of the 911 Legislative Network have been busy
over the past few months having meetings with their
legislators, attending fundraisers, writing letters, and
making calls. This does make a difference for your
profession and in ACEP's legislative efforts! ACEP staff
are reminded of the importance of this contact when
Members of Congress talk about you. A few recent
*** Rep. Joe Moakley (MA) commented
that Dr. Charlotte Yeh as lobbied him on the emergency
services provisions in the patients' bill of rights.
*** Rep. Bud Cramer (AL) mentioned that Dr. Sam
Heard made a big difference in his campaign in 1998,
educating him on health issues and taking him on an ED
visit at Huntsville Hospital.
*** Rep. Vic Snyder, MD
(AR) discussed the emergency services provisions in the
patients' bill of rights and past lobbying efforts of a
"former brilliant student," Dr. Paul Robinson.
Other activities that 911 Members have participated
***911 Member Dr. Eliott Cohen helped to
organize a breakfast for Rep. John Tiereny (MA) that
colleagues Drs. Dennis Silvers, Sandra Wozniak, Vivian
Kane, Jim Wasco, and others attended in Beverly, MA.
**Dr. Tony Cirillo has worked with RI Secretary of
State and candidate for the 2nd congressional district
Jim Langevin to understand emergency medicine issue. Dr.
Cirillo also worked with other health groups in the
state to send out a "dear colleague" letter requesting
support for Secretary Langevin.
***Dr. Steve Epstein
worked with Rep. Barney Frank (MA) to send a letter of
concern to Reps. Pete Stark (CA) and John Dingell (MI)
on the 1-hour/3-hour call back provision in the Senate
version of the patients' bill of rights.
Political Events at ACEP's Scientific Assembly
We hope that you will join ACEP staff and your
politically savvy colleagues in Philadelphia at the
Scientific Assembly on October 22-26, 2000 for the
following events at the Philadelphia Marriott:
NEMPAC 20th Anniversary Celebration! on
Sunday, October 22, 2000 at 6:00 pm - 7:30
Established in 1980, the National
Emergency Medical Political Action Committee (NEMPAC) is
celebrating 20 years of political involvement on behalf
of emergency medicine! Working in conjunction with the
911 Legislative Network, NEMPAC serves as a critical
advocacy tool which helps to promote ACEP's legislative
agenda. NEMPAC is the third largest medical specialty
PAC raising and contributing over $400,000 to candidates
for federal office in the 1997-1998 election cycle. In
addition, one out of every four emergency physicians
contributes to NEMPAC on an annual basis! If you have
yet to make your contribution to NEMPAC in 2000, you may
do so at the Public Affairs Booth at the Convention
Hall. We hope that all NEMPAC contributors will attend
this reception and celebrate 20 years of political
NEMPAC Invitational Dinner on Sunday, October
22, 2000 at 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
experienced tremendous growth in 2000! We would like to
show our appreciation to our generous NEMPAC donors by
hosting a by invitation only dinner. Members
contributing $250 or more will be invited to this event
as a special thank you for encouraging this growth in
NEMPAC and in emergency medicine's political clout in
ACEP's School of Political Advocacy on
Monday, October 23, 2000 at 1:00 pm - 4:00
ACEP's School of Political Advocacy was
established in 1998. This year we are taking a fresh
look at advocacy and will have a dynamic national
speaker discuss the fundamentals of becoming a
successful "citizen lobbyist." If you are not a member
of ACEP's 911 Legislative Network, you can sign up at
the Public Affairs Booth at the Scientific Assembly.
Luncheon for New and Former Graduates of the
School of Political Advocacy on Tuesday, October 24,
2000 at 11:15 am - 12:25 pm
Graduates of the
School of Political Advocacy are invited to join other
members of the 911 Legislative Network for a special
luncheon. This event will feature a political columnist
or commentator who will provide insights into the
current political landscape and the upcoming elections.
Award(s) for the "Outstanding 911 Member(s)" will be