AARC Virtual Lobby Campaign

Ask Congress to Support Respiratory Therapists

The American Association for Respiratory Care is a strong advocate for the respiratory care profession, our respiratory therapist members, and patients who suffer from chronic respiratory disease. You can help support our efforts by reviewing the legislative initiatives below that are most important to the Association and contacting your Members of Congress to request they co-sponsor this legislation. Co-sponsorship of important legislation is critical to moving it through the legislative process and your participation makes a difference.

For 2021, the AARC will focus on two bills we are asking Members of Congress to co-sponsor in the 117th Congress. They are:

The AARC Social Media Toolkit has the resources you need to spread the word on Facebook and Twitter.

Our Frequently Asked Questions provide additional information about legislative initiatives.

CONNECT (Creating Opportunities Now for Necessary and Effective Care Technologies) for Health Act — H.R. 2903 and S.1512

This bicameral, bipartisan bill includes provisions to expand access to telehealth services on a permanent basis; specifically, it promotes increased access to telehealth services by health care professionals, such as respiratory therapists (RTs), who are not currently described as eligible practitioners in the Medicare program’s telehealth benefit, as part of new payment models being tested by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center. Testing models that include RTs as telehealth providers offers expanded access to their expertise. Over 150 organizations officially supported this legislative initiative, including AARC, as well as half the Senate.

Allied Health Workers Diversity Act — H.R. 3320 and S. 1679

This bill was first introduced in 2019 to support the need to improve educational opportunities through use of grants or scholarships for individuals who are from underrepresented backgrounds, including students from racial and ethnic minorities, in the allied health workforce. At the time, however, only the professions of physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech language pathology and audiology were included. Based on the recommendation of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the committee with jurisdiction for the bill, the reintroduction of the bill in the 117th Congress will include respiratory therapists. The bill would increase retention of students by awarding financial support to eligible RTs to complete an associate, bachelor, master, or doctoral degree program. AARC can also make recommendations on eligible candidates.

Ask your members of Congress to co-sponsor the CONNECT for Health Act and the Allied Health Workforce Diversity Act to support respiratory therapists!

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