Over-the-counter hearing aids. Medicare fee schedules. Medicare Audiologist Access and Services Act. Practitioner status. Direct Access. Audiology has many pressing issues that must be addressed. What do all of these issues have in common?
- They all directly impact your ability to practice successfully to the top of your license.
- They are all advanced, or not, by our representatives in Congress.
- You have the power to influence their outcomes.
This President’s Challenge is to fund our PAC, or Political Action Committee, which is a critical component of advancing the legislative priorities that matter most to audiology.
What is our PAC? In simple terms, the PAC buys us a seat at the table with the people who make the decisions that impact our ability to practice.
The Academy’s Political Action Committee or PAC collects funds that enable the Academy to contribute in a bipartisan manner to members of Congress that are supportive of audiology and advancing hearing healthcare. Direct contributions to members of Congress using PAC donations allow the Academy to attend in-person fundraisers/events with these elected officials to speak directly with decision makers about issues critical to the profession of audiology.
Over the past year, PAC funds allowed the Academy to speak directly with multiple influential members of Congress including Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), Senator John Thune Senator John Thune (R-SD), Senate Finance Committee member and Representatives Mullin (R-AR), and Representative Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
As an Academy member, your contributions to the PAC allow the Academy to elevate the profession of audiology and highlight for lawmakers the critical nature of what we do and the changes needed to improve patient access to care.
Every key association has a PAC. Health Professional PACs donated over $21.6 million in 2019-2020 (https://www.opensecrets.org/political-action-committees-pacs/industry-detail/H01/2020). In that same time frame, the American Medical Association’s PAC reported $1.6 million. The AAO-HNS website reports that the ENT PAC has already supported the campaigns of 14 incumbent Members of Congress during the first quarter of 2022, for a total of $23,500 worth of contributions.
We must ALL contribute regularly and generously to our PAC if we hope to compete with the influence of these other significant players who have the ears of congress. Contributions to a PAC can only be accepted from members of an organization and your donation demonstrates your commitment to the issues that matter most to audiologists.
Our ability to practice is not a given. We increase audiology’s visibility on Capitol Hill and with key policymakers through our PAC. Please join me in visiting the Academy website to contribute or set up a recurring monthly contribution. Take on the challenge and Invest in the future of your profession today!
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