AAPI Legislative Day on April 12th

AAPI Legislative Day on April 12th

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WASHINGTON DC (TIP):  The growing influence of doctors of Indian heritage is evident, as increasingly physicians of Indian origin
 hold critical positions in the healthcare, academic, research and 
administrative positions across the nation. With their hard work, 
dedication, compassion, and skills, they have thus carved an enviable 
niche in the American medical community. AAPI’s role has come to be recognized as vital among members and among lawmakers.

In this context, as the nation continues
 to be divided on the health reforms, AAPI’s legislative day planned for
 next month on capitol and is expected to be addressed by dozens of US 
lawmakers from both the major parties, comes to be a vital part of 
AAPI’s growing influence and having its united voice heard in the 
corridors of power. “We are excited to announce that our next 
Legislative Day is on April 12th on capitol Hill in Washington, DC,” 
said Dr. Gautam Samadder, President of AAPI.

“Our daytime program begins at 09:00 am 
and will include lunch on the Capitol in the Rayburn Building. We will 
conclude in the afternoon, giving participants the opportunity to meet 
their own Congressman on their own time. That evening, we are planning 
for a reception and dinner with several dignitaries at the Indian 
Embassy,” summarized, Dr. Samadder.

Describing that AAPI is a non-political 
umbrella organization which has nearly 90 local chapters, specialty 
societies and alumni organizations. Almost 10%-12% of medical students 
entering US schools are of Indian origin. AAPI represents the interests 
of over 60,000 physicians and 25,000 medical students and residents of 
Indian heritage in the United States,
 Dr. Samadder, a prominent physician with decades of service to the 
country, said, “The mission AAPI, the largest ethnic organization of 
physicians, is to provide a forum to facilitate and enable Indian American
 physicians to excel at inpatient care, teaching and research, and to 
pursue their aspirations in professional and community affairs.  The 
Executive Committee is working hard to ensure active participation of 
young physicians, increasing membership, and enabling AAPI’s voice to be
 heard in the corridors of power, and thus taking AAPI to new heights.”

There are many issues affecting our 
community. An important debate is about the merits of doing away with 
the individual mandate. “As Congress has now passed a repeal of this 
part of the Affordable Care Act, which takes place in 2019, what does 
this mean for the average physician practice if patients drop their 
health care coverage and how will this impact premiums?” Dr. Naresh 
Parikh, President-Elect of AAPI, asks.

“Now is the time to ensure our voices 
are heard on these vital issues. Additionally, those with good contacts 
with their own congressman, should reach out to his/her office and ask 
them to join us at our program in the Rayburn Building, banquet room 
B-338, between 10:30 am to 1:30 pm. If your congressman would like to 
speak, we can arrange their participation,” Dr. Ashok Jain, BOT chair, 

According to AAPI Legislative Chairman, 
Dr. Vinod K. Shah, AAPI’s legislative initiatives for 2017-18 include, 
addressing Physician Shortage, and urged the Congress to increase 
Residency Positions across USA. “Our nation is currently experiencing a 
physician shortage, which will be exacerbated by retiring baby boomers. 
The result of such a shortage may affect thousands of patients’ access 
to a physician, and ultimately the health care they need. The only way 
to address this future crisis is to increase the number of residency 
positions available for future physicians to get trained, so that our 
nation can effectively manage the need for increased patient care. 
Increasing the size of medical school classes is not enough. There must 
be a simultaneous increase in the size of residency positions to train 
these future doctors. As Congress capped the number of residency 
positions in 1997, it is time for Congress to act NOW to remedy this 
critical situation. AAPI believes that all Americans have the right to 
see a physician.”

AAPI Legislative Co-Chair, Dr. Sampat 
Shivangi, pointed to some of the other initiatives that are being 
presented to the Congressmen. “They include: Lowering the Cost of 
Prescription Drugs; Immigration Reform: H-1 and J-1 visas are used by 
many Indian American physicians, playing an important role in providing 
critical health care across the country. Combined with the Green Card 
backlog consisting of more than 4 million people, AAPI members are very 
concerned about the impact immigration reform will have on the Indian 
American community.”

Dr. Samadder pointed to Medicare and Medicaid
 Reimbursements. He said, “These programs have not kept up with the cost
 of care and the growing populations utilizing them. It is critical that
 Congress review reimbursement schedules; otherwise, patients may not be
 able to find a physician in their community who accepts Medicare and/or
 Medicaid patients.

AAPI has been urging the Congress to 
enact Tort Reform: In order to reduce the practice of defensive 
medicine, bring down the overall cost of health care, and limit the 
number of meritless lawsuits, tort reform will bring fairness into the 
court system and better serve both the doctor and patient communities.

AAPI supports federal and state 
legislation that places effective caps on non-economic damages, limits 
the use of joint-and-several liability, provides physicians with 
flexibility to negotiate settlements with medical insurers and further 
limits the statute of limitations for filing medical malpractice claims.

Pointing out that from 1980-2005, while 
medical school enrollment remained flat, the U.S. population increased 
by more than 70 million people. Because the percentage of baby-boomer 
generation doctors (55 and older) rose from 27 percent to 34 percent 
during this time, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) 
predicts that America will need 90,000 physicians by 2020, Dr. Ashok 
Jain, said, the number of physicians needed by 2025 according to the 
AAMC will reach a staggering 130,000. One way to address this shortage 
is to increase medical school class sizes to meet this future health 
care need. This issue is vital as it pertains to health care reform, as 
more physicians will be needed to provide quality health care to our 
nation’s uninsured patients.


“In order to raise our voices together 
and to have our voices heard on Capitol, Hill, we look forward to seeing
 you on Capitol Hill on Thursday, April 12th, for our Legislative Day,” 
Dr. Samadder added.  For more information on AAPI and its programs and 
initiatives, please visit:  www.aapiusa.org


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