On April 25-26, ACCT held its annual Spring Hill Day Legislative Briefing and Capitol Hill Day in Washington, DC. ACCT members received updates from an excellent group of speakers as part of the briefing. First, the group heard from Rita Habib, a health staff member with the Office of Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), who discussed Senate movement on the ACCT-supported Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act (H.R. 304/S. 916). The bill, which passed the House of Representatives unanimously in January, would ensure that EMS personnel would be able to dispense lifesaving medication in the field. Given its strong support in the House, many are looking for the Senate to pass the legislation unanimously and send it to the President’s desk as soon as possible.
In addition, ACCT attendees heard from several experts at Holland & Knight who discussed issues impacting ACCT priorities. First, Lisa Tofil, JD and Miranda Franco, MA of Holland & Knight’s healthcare practice discussed the recent presidential election, current political dynamics on Capitol Hill, and ACCT’s issues for Capitol Hill. ACCT members also heard from Joel Roberson, JD, a partner at Holland & Knight, who discussed the importance of pursuing a reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for enhancing the National Airspace System and touched on several important aerospace policy issues, including calls to privatize the Air Traffic Control (ATC) system, which ACCT opposes.
Finally, ACCT members heard a presentation by John DeLisi, Director of the Office of Aviation Safety at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), as well as several NTSB investigators, concerning their final report and recommendations regarding their recent investigation into an air ambulance crash that occurred in Frisco, Colorado, in July 2015. The NTSB experts provided insights into their investigation and subsequent conclusions regarding the cause of the crash and discussed the importance of making safety modifications to air ambulances to improve conditions for onboard critical care personnel and their patients. The presentation followed an NTSB public meeting in late March to investigate the crash. Following the meeting, the NTSB put forward several recommendations, including one directing ACCT to work with in collaboration with other stakeholders to form a working group to develop and distribute guidelines for improving crashworthiness standards on air medical equipment.
The fly-in culminated the following day, when ACCT members visited the offices of over 40 members of Congress from 10 different states to deliver ACCT’s legislative priorities. These productive meetings will be important as ACCT members continue to get traction on their legislative issues throughout the 115th Congress.
Click here to see the documents outlining ACCT's legislative priorities: