Capitol Hill Report: Graham-Cassidy Bill Fails AAN Health Care Principles
September 25, 2017
AAN Opposes Graham-Cassidy Bill
The AAN joined the American Medical Association and several neurologic patient groups in voicing opposition to the proposed legislation by Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Dean Heller (R-NV), and Ron Johnson (R-WI) to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
The provisions in the bill to restructure the Medicaid program and allow states to waive essential health benefits do not align with the AAN's Principles for Health Care Delivery. The AAN continues to advocate for access to care for all neurologic patients.
David Good, MD, FAAN, Visits Washington, DC, as “Lobbyist for a Day”
With Congress back in session, we were joined by David C. Good, MD, FAAN, of Pennsylvania. Dr. Good is a stroke neurologist at Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and was recently appointed to the Academy's BrainPAC Executive Committee, which is responsible for directing AAN's federal political action committee.
Dr. Good had two busy days on Capitol Hill discussing the Furthering Access to Stroke Telemedicine (FAST) Act in congressional offices and attending fundraisers with contributions from BrainPAC. Highlights included:
- Attended seven fundraisers, including one with his home state Sen. Bob Casey (D) and another where he met 12 GOP senators at an event at the National Republican Senate Committee. Those senators included FAST Act Senate sponsor John Thune (R-SD) and cosponsors Mike Rounds (R-SD), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Roger Wicker (R-MS).
- Office meetings and conversations with members of the Pennsylvania congressional delegation and many others including: Rep. Diane Black (R-TN), chair of the House Budget Committee, and Rep. Phil Roe, MD (R-TN), chair of the House Veterans Affairs Committee.
FAST Act Markup
While Dr. Good was in DC, the House Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee marked up the FAST Act, H.R. 1148, as introduced by Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-VA). A committee “markup” is the process used to consider amendments to proposed legislation.
- The E&C Health Subcommittee amended the legislation to allow Medicare to pay for telestroke in non-rural areas beginning in 2021.
- H.R. 1148 passed the Health Subcommittee on a unanimous vote, and the full E&C Committee will potentially consider the bill soon, which would make it eligible for consideration on the floor of the US House.
- The FAST Act now has 150 House cosponsors and the Senate version of the FAST Act, S. 431, which passed the Senate Finance Committee as part of the CHRONIC Care Act, now has 16 cosponsors.
News and Notes
The AAN sent or signed on to the following letters in September:
- Support for the Local Coverage Determination Clarification Act of 2017
- Support for funding the National Neurological Diseases Surveillance System (led by Michael J. Fox Foundation and National MS Society)
- Support for the Ensuring Children's Access to Specialty Care Act of 2017
- Support for Pediatric Subspecialty Loan Repayment in Title VII Reauthorization
- Support for the Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act of 2017