PlastyPAC Launches 'Get Out the Vote' Movement
This year's elections will be arguably the most important in more than a decade for plastic surgeons. With the pandemic and healthcare issues such as balance billing, Medicare reimbursement, small business relief, and more, standing in the balance, November 3 will directly impact the livelihoods of physicians and patients.
That's why PlastyPAC launched a Get Out the Vote campaign leading up to the 2020 election to better educate ASPS members about plastic surgery's voting issues and to increase physician turnout. As part of this campaign, the PAC mailed all U.S. members a PlastyPAC Voter Guide so they can evaluate candidates based on their record with respect to our top issues. Additionally, the Society launched a webpage so members can access an electronic version of the Voter Guide and learn more about the Society's federal priories and local voting resources.
PlastyPAC believes every vote counts and that the election will greatly influence our nation's healthcare agenda. It believes that more doctors voting will result in more policymakers who support an agenda that improves your experience as a physician makes healthcare better and more accessible for your patients. Special interest groups know this too, and that's why they are investing millions of dollars in races across the country. In fact, the 2020 election cycle will be the most expensive in U.S. history, at an estimated $10.8 billion in overall spending, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The specialty's adversaries, such as the insurance lobby and trial attorneys are actively working against us this cycle on issues we oppose, and hoping that physicians don't cast their votes.
Sadly, too many physicians have been historically absent from the polls. Despite how well-educated doctors are – a demographic trait that correlates highly-to increased voting -- their voting rates are lower than the general population, according to the Journal of Internal General Medicine. By comparison, lawyers have higher voter turnout rates than physicians and the general population. This is problematic because this means that attorneys are showing up in greater numbers than physicians trying to reverse progress made on tort reform in Congress. Clearly, voter inaction has real consequences if plastic surgeons do not collectively speak with one voice on November 3.
To ensure plastic surgery's voice is heard, PlastyPAC has been busy throughout the election cycle supporting Democrat and Republican candidates that prioritize and fight for the issues that impact plastic surgery. The PAC has a strong track record of backing plastic surgery's champions so they further advance our issues in Congress. During the 2017-2018 election cycle, PlastyPAC had an 81 percent success rate during the midterm elections. The PAC hopes to continue that record of success in November.