June 26, 2015

Lead Story:
Supreme Court Upholds ACA Subsidies
On June 25, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its ruling on the King v Burwell case. In a 6-3 decision, the Court upheld the key provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that allows people to continue receiving federal subsidies to purchase healthcare plans. Immediately following the release of the decision, GOP lawmakers began debating whether or not it was prudent to continue to challenge other ACA-related provisions. Time will tell.

Action Requested:
You’ve Got Mail!
Check your mailbox, because the 2015 ENT PAC mailer is on its way! Take this opportunity to make a contribution to help advocate on behalf of the specialty. Don’t want to wait for your statement? Donate online at www.entpac.org (log-in with your AAO-HNS user ID and password) or send your personal check (payable to ENT PAC) to 1650 Diagonal Road, Alexandria, VA 22314.*

Summer Recess is Almost Here - Plan Your I-GO Event Today!
Legislators will return to their districts for work periods over the 4th of July holiday and the month-long August recess. Don’t miss these great opportunities to meet with your federal lawmakers at a district office, or better yet, invite them to visit your medical practice or academic facility! Contact govtaffairs@entnet.org to learn more about the In-district Grassroots Outreach (I-GO) program or to request assistance in scheduling your meetings.

Informational Updates:
U.S. House Votes to Repeal IPAB
On June 23, the U.S. House of Representatives passed (244-154) H.R. 1190, the “Protecting Seniors’ Access to Medicare Act of 2015,” which would repeal the ACA-mandated Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB). The AAO-HNS supports IPAB repeal and recently signed a coalition letter urging the House to pass H.R. 1190. To date, it remains unknown when/if the U.S. Senate will consider the bill.

ENT PAC In Action
ENT PAC has been busy advocating on your behalf. Earlier this month, ENT PAC hosted a physician community breakfast for U.S. Representative David Scott (D-GA). Rep. Scott is the lead Democrat sponsor for H.R. 1741, the “Truth in Healthcare Marketing Act of 2015.” ENT PAC also hosted an event this morning for U.S. Representative Evan Jenkins (R-WV). Rep. Jenkins is a freshman Member of Congress. Prior to his election to Congress, Rep. Jenkins served in the West Virginia House of Delegates and was Executive Director of the West Virginia State Medical Association. For more information on ENT PAC, contact entpac@entnet.org.

House E&C Committee Holds Hearing on EHDI
On June 25, the House Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee held a hearing on H.R. 1344, the “Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) Act of 2015.” The EHDI program works to identify infants and children with hearing loss and provide information about various early-intervention services. If enacted, H.R. 1344 would reauthorize the EHDI program for an additional five years. The AAO-HNS sent a letter of support for this legislation and encourages AAO-HNS members to contact their legislator in support as well.

Annual BOG Legislative Conference Call
On July 15, the BOG Legislative Affairs Committee will host its annual “Legislative Update” conference call – an open session for all BOG state society leadership and society administrators. Participants will be briefed on important federal legislation, ENT PAC, the State Trackers program, and ongoing grassroots initiatives. If you would like additional information regarding the call, please email govtaffairs@entnet.org.

AAO-HNS Opposes Elimination of AHRQ
On June 23, the AAO-HNS sent a letter to House Appropriations Committee members opposing a provision in the 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies bill. As written, the bill eliminates funding for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and a number of other critical health services important to ongoing patient-centered outcomes research efforts.

From the Health Policy Team:
MEDPAC Publishes June Report to Congress
The Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MEDPAC) recently published its June report advising Congress on Medicare payments, analyzing changes in health industry, quality of care, and other issues affecting Medicare. Key topics addressed include: synchronizing Medicare policy across the various payment models, recommending withdrawal of the “two-midnight” rule, and examining two potential quality measurement models.  

*Contributions to ENT PAC are not deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. Contributions are voluntary, and all members of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery have the right to refuse to contribute without reprisal. Federal law prohibits ENT PAC from accepting contributions from foreign nationals. By law, if your contributions are made using a personal check or credit card, ENT PAC may use your contribution only to support candidates in federal elections. All corporate contributions to ENT PAC will be used for educational and administrative fees of ENT PAC, and other activities permissible under federal law. Federal law requires ENT PAC to use its best efforts to collect and report the name, mailing address, occupation, and the name of the employer of individuals whose contributions exceed $200 in a calendar year.