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    Specialty groups make health reform pitch

    Maintain fee-for-service option, Alliance letter urges

    Bob GattyBob GattyAs the Republican-led Congress wrestles with the daunting challenge of developing comprehensive health care legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), specialty organizations—including those representing urology—are working to influence the ultimate outcome.

    In a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) in late May, members of the Alliance of Specialty Medicine, including the AUA, provided a list of recommendations for inclusion in the Senate’s version of the legislation, on which Senate leaders have been hoping to take to a vote before the August recess.

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    The House of Representatives narrowly passed a reform bill, HR 1628, in May, which has raised alarms about potential loss of coverage under Medicaid and for preexisting conditions, among other issues. Differences between the two versions of the legislation would then be negotiated in a House-Senate conference to devise a final bill to be considered in each chamber.

    The Alliance’s letter summarized what many specialty groups, including the AUA, have been urging senators individually to consider during meetings on Capitol Hill and elsewhere.

    Some provisions of the reform effort are being handled through the budget reconciliation process in Congress, while others that do not have a direct impact on the federal deficit will be included in separate legislation.

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    Bob Gatty
    Bob Gatty, a former congressional aide, covers news from Washington for Urology Times.

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