ASAE sent the following letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on June 20:
June 20, 2017
The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Majority Leader McConnell:
On behalf of America’s vast association sector, I strongly encourage you and your fellow senators to be more inclusive and transparent in drafting legislation to fundamentally change our nation’s healthcare system.
ASAE represents more than 37,000 association professionals who run trade and professional associations of all types and sizes, including thousands who work for healthcare organizations that have a vital interest in changes the Senate is considering to restructure Medicaid and potentially impact existing health insurance coverage and long-term care for tens of millions of Americans.
As the largest organization representing the interests of the association sector, ASAE urges you to take advantage of the knowledge and expertise present in the association community and listen to their concerns. As you well know, associations represent all sides of the healthcare system, from physicians and hospitals to insurance carriers and patients being treated for cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other serious illnesses. Crafting healthcare legislation on this scale without public hearings and with limited input from outside experts is a mistake, and is a departure from the traditional way the Senate has considered complex issues of this nature.
Drafting legislation behind closed doors also inhibits Congress’s ability to educate the public and the healthcare industry about your goals for the legislation and build support for the changes you are interested in advancing.
The Senate’s closed-door approach to drafting this legislation and your reported interest in fast-tracking a vote on a bill that no one has seen is alarming. Given the stakes involved in repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, it’s time to stop worrying about passing any bill quickly and adopt a timeline for advancing legislation that at least considers the interests of those most affected by changes to our healthcare system.
If ASAE can be of any assistance to you and other Senate leaders in identifying and arranging meetings with healthcare associations and other stakeholders in this critical issue, please contact Jim Clarke, ASAE’s senior vice president of public policy, at 202-626-2703 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you in advance for your consideration of this important request.
John H. Graham IV, FASAE, CAE
President and CEO