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Amid conflicting reports, decision on PAC delayed

From the March 1999 ACP-ASIM Observer, copyright 1999 by the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine.

Internists will not have a political action com-mittee (PAC) representing their interests this year.

At its February meeting, the College's Board of Regents reviewed reports from two committees that disagreed about whether ACP-ASIM Services, the corporate entity that might ultimately administer a PAC for internists if the idea is approved, should go ahead and form a PAC. Because the committees disagreed, the Regents decided not to forward their reports to ACP-ASIM Services, delaying a decision on the matter until next year.

The Health and Public Policy Committee supported establishing a PAC, noting that it could help internists get more involved in the political process. But the Ethics and Human Rights Committee was concerned that a PAC might pose too many policy conflicts and could adversely affect the public's view of the College.

In light of these diverging opinions, and recognizing that ACP-ASIM Services will need additional information to make a decision, the Regents requested more feedback from internists and urged the College to educate members about PACs. College officials emphasized that the delay in no way means that the prospect of forming a PAC is being indefinitely shelved.

For more coverage on the Regents meeting, see Regents approve new policies on angina, Medicare, access.

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