Healthcare policy, including the possible expansion of association health plans (AHPs), tops the list of advocacy concerns for association executives in ASAE’s 2018 Advocacy Priority Study.

Every year, ASAE surveys its CEO and government relations executive members from across the country to gather feedback on where ASAE should focus its public policy resources, as well as identify new issues of importance to the community. Association CEOs comprise 80 percent of the survey respondents.

Healthcare policy topped this year’s list due to the administration’s proposal to expand AHPs. The Department of Labor just this week closed a comment period on proposed AHP rules, which would broaden the type of groups that could form association health plans with the goal of expanding affordable coverage options for small businesses and the self-employed. ASAE submitted comments on the proposal, addressing what types of organizations should qualify as an “employer” for the purposes of establishing an AHP (and who could participate in these AHPs), as well as the complexities associated with state regulation of AHPs.

After healthcare policy, survey respondents identified tax policy as the second most important concern. Congress ushered in sweeping changes to the tax system just before the end of the year, including numerous changes that impact the tax-exempt community. ASAE and others were successful in getting some harmful provisions removed from the final bill, though there are still issues that associations would like to see fixed or clarified.

Other priority issues for survey respondents included internet and wireless issues (including net neutrality), nonprofit governance and nonprofit political activity.

This March 21-22 at American Associations Day, ASAE’s legislative fly-in, attendees will meet with over 200 Congressional offices to educate them on association tax issues and The Power of A.