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Washington Update - November 2017
November 1, 2017 by Tyler Smith
  • Star Grassroots Advocates
    • At this year’s Education Forum, we asked to hear the stories of some of our PA education advocates who have met with their representatives or their Washington or district office staff. We’d like to thank Jonathan Bowser, MS, PA-C; Melody Yozzo, MS, MHS, PA-C; Michelle DiBaise, DHSc, PA-C; Shani Fleming, MS, MPH, PA-C; Dave Asprey, PhD, PA-C; Patty Scholting, MPAS, PA-C; and Stephane VanderMeulen, MPAS, PA-C, for sharing their advocacy experiences. Be on the lookout for their video interviews on the Grassroots Action Network in the coming weeks!
  • Congressional Representatives Visit PA Programs
    • Recently, Student Health Policy Fellows Megan Berry and Alec Sims hosted Congressmen Ted Budd (R-NC-13) and Mark Meadows (R-NC-11) at the High Point University and Wingate University PA programs, respectively. During their visits, Megan and Alec discussed the unique challenges faced by students and programs and advocated for the policy solutions included in the Physician Assistant Higher Education Modernization Act (H.R. 1603) and the Physician Assistant Education Public Health Initiatives Act (H.R. 1605). Great job, Megan and Alec!
    • Earlier this month, PAEA CEO Timi Agar Barwick, the PAEA Government Relations team, and AAPA Vice President of Federal Affairs Tate Heuer met with Assistant Secretary Elinore McCance-Katz of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Topics discussed were innovative ways to advance mental and behavioral health curricula, teaching PA students about DATA 2000 buprenorphine waivers for opioid use disorder, and expanding the availability of mental health clinical training sites across the nation.
  • Health Care News from Washington
    • President Trump recently announced his decision to end cost-sharing reduction (CSR) payments to insurance companies that provide support to low-income enrollees with out-of-pocket costs. The elimination of these payments has led multiple insurers to further increase premiums for 2018 and is projected to result in a $194 billion increase in the national deficit over the next 10 years related to automatic increases in premium subsidies for eligible ACA enrollees.
    • Shortly following the president’s decision, Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) committee announced a deal to help stabilize the individual health insurance market under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While the deal has significant bipartisan support in Congress, both President Trump and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan have expressed opposition to the agreement.
  • Opportunities for Action
    • On September 30, funding expired for the National Health Service Corps. Your input is now even more crucial in insisting that Congress act to restore funding. If you have not already done so, please take action and tell your representatives to continue the essential work of the National Health Service Corps.
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