Recognizing the growing importance of political action committees, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) established the National Emergency Medicine Political Action Committee (NEMPAC) in 1980. NEMPAC is a voluntary, nonprofit, unincorporated association operating as a separate segregated fund of ACEP. NEMPAC is empowered to solicit, directly or indirectly, and accept voluntary personal contributions from ACEP members, and to make expenditures in connection with the election of candidates for federal office.
ACEP has an ambitious legislative agenda due to the many issues that affect access to emergency medical care and the practice of emergency medicine. NEMPAC is a critical tool to help ACEP promote our legislative goals and express the concerns of emergency medicine to Members of Congress. It is the financial vehicle through which ACEP members can support the election or re-election of congressional candidates who share their commitment to emergency medicine.
NEMPAC pools smaller donations from individual ACEP members, donating them in one larger, and more impressive contribution on behalf of the entire profession.
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) is the government agency responsible for the administration and enforcement of the Federal Election Campaign Act. All PAC and personal contributions of $200 or more must be reported to the FEC. An individual may contribute up to $5,000 to a PAC per year. All contributions to NEMPAC are not tax deductible for federal income tax purposes.
In 2010, ACEP Members donated$1,090,166 to NEMPAC, exceeding our $1 million annual fundraising goal. 5,369 emergency physicians donated an average of $203.05.
Fundraising methods include the NEMPAC check-off on the ACEP dues statement, direct mail and telemarketing campaigns, peer-to-peer efforts and activities at ACEP meetings. Emergency medicine groups whose physicians are members of ACEP are becoming more involved. Some, including EMA, EMP and TeamHealth, conduct internal campaigns among their ACEP members to raise funds for NEMPAC. Other groups, such as CEP America and Florida Emergency Physicians, have created a separate advocacy account funded by contributions from their physician partners. NEMPAC also offers a payroll deduction option to EM groups for their ACEP members. Emergency Medicine groups who achieve dual 100% ACEP membership and 100% NEMPAC participation are also given special recognition and benefits.
Each year, the ACEP Federal Government Affairs Committee develops and the Board of Directors considers a legislative and regulatory agenda to advance issues critical to ACEP members. A candidates’ and incumbents’ support of these priorities is a key factor in determining eligibility for a NEMPAC contribution. Other factors considered include support and co-sponsorship of ACEP legislation, committee assignment, leadership position and competitiveness of the race. Candidates who have a history of working with ACEP staff and members and whom have received contributions from ACEP in the past are also given consideration. Input from the state chapters, local ACEP leaders, and 911 Network members is also taken into account and appreciated.
ACEP members including ACEP Board members, NEMPAC Board members, state chapter leaders, and 911 Network members, as well as ACEP staff, deliver NEMPAC contributions. ACEP gives priority to participating in smaller healthcare-specific meetings and fundraisers when donating NEMPAC funds. The smaller events allow the candidates to focus solely on healthcare issues and to hear ACEP’s concerns and priorities in the current Congress. NEMPAC also participates in events and meetings back home in the state and district where ACEP members can deliver a check personally to their Member of Congress.