ACP Services PAC is the political action committee sponsored by the American College of Physicians Services, Inc. It is a voluntary, nonpartisan political organization established in 2004 to increase the participation of internists and internal medicine sub-specialists in the electoral process and enable the specialty to play a more active role in the development of federal policy on health care.
Because of its tax status as a charitable organization, ACP cannot establish a PAC. However, ACP Services, Inc., a separate and distinct organization from ACP established in 1998 to provide advocacy, practice management, and other services for internist-members, has a different tax status that allows it to establish a PAC. Members of ACP automatically are also members of ACP Services, Inc.
How Does ACP Services PAC Work?
ACP Services PAC is administered by a board of directors consisting of 14 politically active members of ACP Services plus the treasurer of the PAC. The PAC’s board of directors researches and analyzes congressional candidates and determines who the PAC should support. ACP Services PAC targets its disbursements to those candidates who are in a position to play a key role in the formulation of health care legislation and who have a track record of support on issues of concern to internists and their patients.
Disbursement decisions are based on carefully developed guidelines for candidate support, designed to ensure that internists’ contributions to the PAC are spent wisely. Primary factors determining whether a disbursement is made to an incumbent, for example, are the position the candidate holds in the Congress, including committee assignments, and voting record. Political party affiliation is not a consideration. ACP Services PAC solicits recommendations from PAC members as part of its candidate selection process.
How Can ACP Services PAC Help Internal Medicine?
By coordinating and targeting individual member contributions, ACP Services PAC can:
- Improve the practice environment by working to elect candidates to federal office who understand and support the concerns of internists and their patients. With this input, members of Congress will be able to make more informed decisions.
- Increase the visibility and influence of internal medicine on Capitol Hill by making internists’ views known during the election process.
- Educate members of Congress about the unique characteristics of the specialty of internal medicine and its commitment to improving the health care of all Americans.
- Promote internists’ participation in the political process and increase their understanding of how the process works. By involving more internists and internal medicine subspecialists in the political process, ACP Services PAC enhances the grassroots participation of internists around the country who serve as “Advocates” on behalf of the specialty by maintaining regular communication with their congressional representatives on issues important to internists and their patients.