ACP Services PAC: A growing force for internal medicine
With the 109th Congress off to a busy start, ACP and ACP Services Inc. are strengthening their advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill on issues that are important to internists and their patients. These include potential cuts in the physician fee schedule and the implications of those cuts for patient care, passage of meaningful medical liability legislation to address soaring premiums and expanding health insurance coverage for millions of uninsured Americans.
ACP Services PAC is a political action committee that was established last year to support internists' advocacy agenda through greater participation in the political process and enabling the specialty to play a more active role in developing federal health care policy.
A PAC is an entity permitted under federal law to make contributions to political candidates running for office at the state and/or federal level. Because of its tax status as a charitable organization, ACP cannot establish a PAC. However, ACP Services Inc.—a separate and distinct organization from ACP that was established in 1998 to provide advocacy, practice management and other services for internist-members—has a different tax status, which allows it to establish a PAC. ACP Members automatically become members of ACP Services Inc.
ACP Services PAC is governed by an 11-member Board of Directors that researches and analyzes the voting records of Congressional candidates and determines who should receive contributions from the PAC. Now chaired by William E. Golden, FACP, from Little Rock, Ark., the board is comprised of internal medicine leaders selected from various areas of the country by the ACP Services Board of Directors. The PAC board considers candidates' records of support on issues important to the profession, membership on key health committees and leadership positions in the Congress, among other criteria, when deciding who to support.
The PAC Board of Directors has begun authorizing contributions to candidates who meet the PAC's guidelines for support. The PAC targets its contributions to candidates for federal office who are in a position to play a key role in the formulation of health care legislation and who have a track record of support on issues of concern to internal medicine.
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