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April 18, 2008

2008

April 18, 2008

ATS Leadership Meets with NIH Directors

Last week, the ATS officers held a series of meetings with key NIH directors to press the case for continued investments in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine research. ATS officers David Ingbar MD – President, Jo Rae Wright PhD – President-Elect, Randy Curtis MD, MPH – Vice President and Stephen Crane PhD – Executive Director met with Institute Director and senior staff at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institute of Nursing Research, National Institute for General Medical Science, Fogarty International Centers and the VA research program.

CLEAN AIR

House Oversight Committee Questions EPA Ozone Rule

House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) has issued a subpoena of correspondence between the White House and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to determine if the White House interfered with EPA’s final rule on the Clean Air standard for ozone. Media reports have suggested the EPA administrator was prevented by the White House from issued a more stringent standard.

As you may recall, the EPA lowered the ozone standard from 0.084 ppm/8-hours to 0.075 ppm. An EPA expert panel had recommended a standard between 0.060 and 0.070. The ATS endorsed a standard of 0.060 ppm.

PULMONARY REHABILITATION

Pulmonary Rehab Bill Picks Up Cosponsors

Cosponsorship support for legislation to create a Medicare pulmonary rehabilitation benefit continues to gain support in Congress. The House bill, introduced by Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) and Rep. Chip Pickering (R-MS) now has 187 cosponsors. The most recent members of Congress who cosponsored the House bill include:

-Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA)
-Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX)
-Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY)
-Rep. Jessie Jackson Jr. (D-IL)
-Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA)
-Rep. Thomas Tancredo (R-CO)
-Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-LA)

The Senate bill, introduced by Sen. Crapo (R-ID) and Sen. Lincoln (D-AR), is also adding cosponsorship support. The bill now has 45 cosponsors, including recent additions of Sens. Ron Wyden (R-OR), Richard Lugar (R-IN), Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Thad Cochran (R-MS).

ADVOCACY

ATS Health Policy Committee Lobbies Capitol Hill

On April 10, the ATS Health Policy Committee, chaired by Lee Brown, MD, held its second annual Advocacy Day in Washington, D.C. The issues the committee lobbied on included: domestic tuberculosis (TB) control legislation; pulmonary rehabilitation coverage legislation; Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulation of tobacco; physician supply legislation; and patient access to oxygen therapy. Committee members Theodore Marcy, MD, Dona Upson, MD, Jeremy Kahn, MD, Richard Mularski, MD, Anthony Marinelli, MD, Ann Halbower, MD, David Cohn, MD, and chair Lee Brown, MD, met with 17 House and Senate offices, including personal visits with Reps. Heather Wilson (R-NM), Diana DeGette (D-CO), and Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO).


Points of Contact

Gary Ewart Senior Director, Government Relations
Nuala Moore Senior Legislative Representative
Joe Kirby DC Office Administrator