Washington, DC—Good morning, ProviderNation. Hope your Festivus shopping is going well. Speaking of feats of strength, though, how about them provider advocates who—despite last months’ mad, budget scramble on Capitol Hill—have once again kept their sector safe from harm.
“The tensest moments in our shop come in those last-minute, political melees,” AHCA/NCAL gunslinger Clif Porter tells me. “It can feel like being a fireman whose own station is on fire.”
It may feel that way, but it certainly doesn’t look that way from the outside. (What was the mark of a Balliol College, Oxford gent? Effortless superiority?) After all, this year, provider advocates have been able to:
- Help secure a permanent solution to the ages-old “doc fix” crises;
- Obtain a “somewhat surprising,” $500 million bouquet in the sector’s market basket update;
- Move legislation, with bipartisan support, that will allow care centers to sign provider agreements for America’s vets; and
- Get legislation introduced in both houses that would set aside tens of millions of public dollars to help providers link up to the magic of high-speed Interweb.
For Porter and the gang, it’s a simple matter of fortes fortunas adiuvat.
“Look,” he says, “we’ve worked hard to develop the kind of constructive relationships with Congress and their staffs so that people on the Hill understand that we can be their first phone call, and not their last.”
So gather round the Festivus pole, ProviderNation, but leave Lobbyist-American types off your disappointment list.