Why a radiology PAC is trying to defeat radiologist candidates

Group supports incumbents with seats on health committee

In an atypical move for professional groups, the American College of Radiological Association PAC is endorsing two Republican Senators whose main challengers are radiologists, writes the National Journal's Andrea Drusch.

According to PAC Director Ted Burnes, the PAC is spending more than $230,000 on printed materials and mailings endorsing Sens. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) against radiologist challengers George Flinn and Milton Wolf, respectively.

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Burnes says the PAC is supporting the incumbents because they serve on the Senate's Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, which oversees jurisdiction on issues important to the radiology industry. He explains, "Roberts and Lamar are kind of big deals," adding, "[Roberts] is potentially chair of [the committee] if the Senate flips, and Lamar has already been really good on radiology issues." 

Burnes notes that the PAC's refusal to support the radiologist candidates should not be taken personally.

"Just because someone's a radiologist doesn't mean they come to D.C. to be representative of radiology," he notes. He cites a controversy involving Wolf's decision to post a patient's X-rays to Facebook and Finn's low poll numbers as additional reasons the PAC has not offered its support (Drusch, National Journal, 7/28).

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