FAQs - American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA)

How does ASAPAC select the recipients of its support?
ASAPAC recipients are selected by the ASAPAC Executive Board and ASAPAC staff based upon the candidate's support for anesthesiology, the candidate's relationship with anesthesiologists and recommendations from ASAPAC contributors and State Component Society leaders.

How can I suggest a candidate for ASAPAC support?
Recommendations from ASA members are welcomed and strongly encouraged. ASA members may contact any member of the ASAPAC Executive Board including ASAPAC Board Chair Mark Brady, M.D. or Zorie Valchev in the ASA Washington office. Anesthesiologists recommending candidates for support should be PAC supporters and should be prepared to explain their candidates' views on issues of importance to anesthesiology and any relationships the candidate may have with anesthesiologists or the medical community.

How does the ASA compare with other organizations in terms of support for its PAC?
ASAPAC is the largest, medical specialty political action committee in the United States. Due to the nature of the political challenges faced by anesthesiologists, ASA members tend to be more politically active than the members of other medical specialties. As a result, ASAPAC tends to be more active than many other medical organizations.

How does ASAPAC evaluate recipients for repeated support?
ASAPAC evaluates candidates for repeated support based upon the same criteria used to set initial support.

I have a problem contributing to ASAPAC because you support politicians that advocate issues I cannot support.
ASAPAC is a bi-partisan, non-ideological political organization. It supports candidates based upon their positions on issues impacting our specialty. Because the issues that ASA works to address - patient safety, Medicare fee reform, Medicare regulatory reform, professional liability reform etc. - are not party line issues or ideological issues, supporters of anesthesiology can be found along the entire political spectrum with widely differing views on issues outside of those impacting anesthesiologists. If you have specific concerns about a particular candidate or candidates, you are strongly encouraged to contact either the ASAPAC Executive Chair or Zorie Valchev in the ASA Washington office.

How are the members of the ASAPAC Board selected? 
The ASAPAC Executive Board consists of 12 anesthesiologists, including a resident member, from various regions of the United States. Members are named to the Board by the ASA President based primarily upon the member's past support for ASAPAC, their involvement as "Key Contacts" for the ASA, and their level of political involvement.

How should I allocate money between ASAPAC and my state PAC?
ASAPAC advocates no rule in allocating money between ASAPAC and State Component PACs. Both are important to protecting and advancing the interests of anesthesiology.

How much money does ASAPAC need?
All ASAPAC contributions are voluntary and the level of participation changes from year to year, ASAPAC bases it budget upon the contributions it receives. It is able to be more aggressive and participate in more campaigns when contribution levels are high. It is less aggressive and participates in fewer campaigns when contribution levels are low.

Is it better for me to contribute to ASAPAC or to contribute directly to a candidate?
There are many anesthesiologists who give to their local candidate and to ASAPAC. Ideally, an anesthesiologist who has a relationship with a local candidate will support that candidate with an individual check and, as a PAC donor, work with ASAPAC to deliver a PAC check to the candidate as well.

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