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Home Advocacy Advocacy 101

Advocacy 101

AUA Advocacy in Action

The AUA advocates for its members at all stages of the policy process—legislative, regulatory and implementation.

Advocacy

The act of educating elected officials on specific causes or issues

Our close working relationships with lawmakers focus on introducing bills that address top issues affecting urology. The AUA legislative & Political Affairs team meets with members of Congress and their staffs to support our position on bills that impact practice. They also provide essential feedback on legislation as part of an ongoing dialog.

We’re strong advocates for regulations that are fair to the practice of urology. Our critical work begins once a bill becomes law. Before a law is put into practice, our Payment Policy team works with agencies like the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, among others to shape important regulations.

We provide valuable feedback on how new laws and their regulations impact urology practices. Both patient care and business operations are top concerns. Working on the front lines, our Practice Management team supports and assists members to promote the best outcomes. The critical information we obtain through assessing implementation guides ongoing AUA advocacy.

Lobbying is time intensive. It involves engaging lawmakers to take action on specific pieces of legislation. Therefore, we maintain a full-time presence in Washington, DC. Our urology advocates volunteer their time to support and promote policies that have a positive impact for urologists and the patients they treat.

About the House of Representatives

  • Represents the people
  • Number of seats proportional to a state's population
  • Often referred to as "the House" or the "lower" chamber of Congress
  • Maximum number of seats in the House is 435
  • All re-elected every two years
  • Tax and spending bills must start in the House

About the Senate

  • Represents the states
  • Two senators per state, no matter the population
  • Exactly 100 seats
  • One third re–elected every two years
  • Senate approves/amends treaties and Presidential appointments
  • Can block legislation with a filibuster (requires a two–thirds vote to end a debate)
  • Typically referred to as "the Senate" or the "upper" house of Congress

116th Congress: Fast Facts

Every two years, American re-elect one third of the U.S. Senate and all members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Here’s a quick rundown of what you should know about the current 116th Congress, which started its first session on January 3, 2019.

116th Congress: Fast Facts 116th Congress: Fast Facts

Health Care Issues to Watch in the 116th Congress

  • Affordable Care Act
  • Budget
  • Drug Pricing and Healthcare Costs
  • Medicare Reform/Solvency
  • Medicaid Reform/Expansion
  • Moratorium on Physician–Owned Hospitals
  • Transparency in Medical Billing ("Surprise Bills")

House Ways & Means
Chair: Rep. Richard Neal (D–MA–1)
The Committee on Ways and Means is the "chief tax-writing committee in the House of Representatives." Revenue-related aspects of Medicare, Social Security and other programs are within the jurisdiction of this important body of lawmakers. Bills and matters related to programs providing payments for healthcare, health delivery or research fall under the jurisdiction of the Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, chaired by Lloyd Doggett (D-TX- 35).

House Energy & Commerce
Chair: Rep. Frank Pallone (D–NJ–6)
As its name suggests, the focus of the House Committee on Energy & Commerce is the primary committee focused on promotion of commerce, including the public’s health and marketplace interests. Its Subcommittee on Health has jurisdiction over bills and resolutions relative to public health, hospitals, health insurance (including Medicare and Medicaid as well as private plans), health information technology, drug abuse, medical malpractice insurance and more.

House Oversite & Government Reform
Chair: TBD
The Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is Congress’ primary investigative committee, holding hearings and conducting investigations as part of its oversight duties. Drug pricing was a key area of interest for this committee during the 115th Congress.

House Veterans' & Affairs
Chair: Rep. Mark Takano (D–CA–41)
The House Committee on Veterans Affairs is the authorizing committee for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and holds within its jurisdiction veterans’ benefits, including medical care, treatment of veterans and veterans’ hospitals.

Senate Finance
Chair: Sen. Chuck Grassley (R–IA)
The Senate Committee on Finance is very similar to the House Committee on Ways and Means, with a wide jurisdiction covering matters relative to taxation and revenue, among them health programs under the Social Security Act (namely Medicare and Medicaid) and health programs financed by a specific tax or trust.

Senate HELP
Chair: Sen. Lamar Alexander (R–TN)
The Senate Committee on Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) and its subcommittees focus on issues relating to health care, education, employment and retirement.

Senate Veterans' Affairs
Chair: Sen. Johnny Isakson (R–GA)
The Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs oversees veterans’ issues, including benefits such as health care services.

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