Capitol Hill Report: Congressmen Request Specifics on Proposals

April 27, 2009

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By Mike Amery, Legislative Counsel, Federal Affairs, (202) 349-4299, mamery@aan.com

The mission of the Academy is to be "indispensable to its members." One way the Academy fulfills this mission is by representing of neurology in the halls of Congress. Capitol Hill Report presents regular updates on legislative action and how the AAN ensures that the voice of neurology is heard on Capitol Hill. The Academy's legislative counsel in Washington, DC, Mike Amery, offers weekly updates on advocacy for neurology and neurologic concerns.

Members of Congress returned to Washington this week after a two-week break.

Along with representatives from several other medical specialties, I met with House Ways & Means Committee Chair Charlie Rangel (D-NY) and Health Subcommittee Chair Pete Stark (D-CA).

The purpose of the discussion was to lay out some proposals that all of the specialties could agree on. We focused on support of innovative payment reforms as long as they are sufficiently tested before being put into wide use, relaxing antitrust rules, and liability reform.

Rangel and Stark didn't give us too much hope on the issues, especially on liability reform, but they did promise that a number of the ideas would be tried.

They especially asked us for more detailed proposals on what we could support, but staff made it clear that they are in the process of writing the bill and the time for meetings is very limited. "Send us paper, please" was the request.

The Academy's Health Reform Task Force will meet at the Annual Meeting in Seattle and it has a goal to further develop the Academy's request of Congress.

I'll report on what we will be sending on paper next week.

Read all of Mike Amery's reports on the Capitol Hill Report page.