Recently-confirmed HHS Sec. Tom Price, MD, has been a notable member of the GOP Doctors Caucus and represents the group's growing influence on U.S. legislation in his new role.
Here are 10 things you should know about the GOP Doctors Caucus:
1. Members of the GOP Doctors Caucus strive to "utilize their medical expertise to develop patient-centered healthcare policy."
2. Rep. Phil Roe, MD, (R-Tenn.) is the current chair of the GOP Doctors Caucus. He advocated against ObamaCare as part of the 111 Congress, and continues in his efforts to replace it with patient-centered reforms.
3. Rep. Roe and Rep. Michael Burgess, MD, (R-Texas) are two GOP Doctors Caucus members besides Secretary Price who hold important leadership positions in Congress. Rep. Roe chairs the House Veterans Affairs Committee and Rep. Burgess chairs the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on health.
4. The caucus has long sought to overturn the ACA and eliminate the individual mandate.
5. In addition, members support efforts to curb opioid abuse, improve veteran health care and simplifying health IT.
6. The caucus typically doesn't introduce bills. Rather, members tend to play the "kingmaker role" by evaluating and supporting other relevant bills.
7. In 2015, House Speaker John Boehner relied on the GOP Doctors Caucus' support in permanently repealing Medicare's sustainable growth rate for calculating physician payments. The caucus supported the "doc fix," a system meant to pay doctors based on performance.
8. Representative Diane Black, RN, R-Tenn., is the caucus' only woman and nurse.
9. Of the 12 physicians currently serving in the U.S. House, 10 are Republicans. Two physicians are in the Senate. Before being confirmed as HHS Secretary, Sec. Price was the 13th physician member of the GOP Doctors Caucus serving in the House.
10. Current members of the caucus include: Phil Roe, MD (R-Tenn.), Ralph Abraham, MD (R-La.), Brian Babin, DDS (R-Texas), Diane Black, RN (R-Tenn.), Larry Bucshon, MD (R-Ind.), Michael Burgess, MD (R-Texas), Buddy Carter, PharmD (R-Ga.), Scott DesJarlais, MD (R-Tenn.), Paul Gosar, DDS (R-Ariz.), Andy Harris, MD (R-Md.), Tim Murphy, PhD (R-Pa.), Mike Simpson, DDS (R-Idaho), Brad Wenstrup, DPM (R-Ohio), Neal Dunn, MD (R-Fla.), Drew Ferguson, DDS (R-Ga.) and Roger Marshall, MD (R-Kan.).
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