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Urology's Advocate on Capitol Hill

UROPAC - May 2020 Update

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many advocacy groups have suspended their fundraising and political activities out of respect for the more important task of supporting our families, frontline health workers and communities who have been hit the hardest by coronavirus and the ensuing financial fallout.

UROPAC believes this is the right approach for this unprecedented time and has cancelled all of its fundraising campaigns and in-person meetings through at least the end of spring, and quite possibly longer than that.

While most political activities in Washington, D.C. have been temporarily halted, it has not stopped lawmakers from discussing their legislative work and soliciting feedback from the public. This has provided UROPAC with an opportunity to connect (virtually) with key members of Congress and share the views of the urology community.

On April 23, about 10 urologists from AACU and UROPAC leadership met, via Zoom, with urologist Rep. Greg Murphy, MD (NC-3) who discussed the latest efforts by Congress to address the health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19, particularly as it relates to physician practices, employed physicians and their patients.

In May, UROPAC hosted virtual meetings with two additional congressional champions – Rep. Fred Upton (MI-6), the second-highest ranking Republican on the House Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee, and Rep. Andy Harris, MD (MD-1), an anesthesiologist and member of the influential House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services Subcommittee.

Other medical specialty groups have also organized virtual meetings with key legislators in recent weeks, which AACU members and staff have had the opportunity to join. Below is a list of all the members of Congress who AACU has met with, via video conferencing, since the beginning of April:

Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL)
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA)
Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12)
Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (DE-AL)
Rep. Larry Bucshon, MD (IN-8)
Rep. Buddy Carter (GA-1)
Rep. Debbie Dingell (MI-12)
Rep. John Joyce, MD (PA-13)
Rep. Adam Kinzinger (IL-16)
Rep. Roger Marshall, MD (KS-1)
Rep. Kurt Schrader (OR-5)
Rep. Pete Stauber (MN-8)
Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5)
Rep. Nydia Velázquez (NY-7)

Upton meeting_zoom_5.11.20.JPG

Some of the most common topics discussed in these meetings were testing capacity, PPE supply for healthcare workers, loans for small business, the Provider Relief Fund, and coverage for telemedicine. We hope to stay in front of these issues and ensure the voice of Urology is heard as Congress and the Administration make important decisions affecting physician practices and public health. 

With your help, we can continue our work even under the current circumstances. We hope that you and your families are taking care and staying safe, and we sincerely thank you for all you are doing to keep our communities healthy and your own staff protected. 

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