by Sean Pauzauskie, MD, COMPAC Chair
Election Day on Nov. 8, 2022 capped an intense campaign season during which physicians around the state interviewed state-level candidates and gave recommendations for the final endorsements made by the CMS Political Action Committee (COMPAC) Board of Directors.
COMPAC endorsed candidates in 67 statehouse races this year, making some hard calls in competitive races based upon where candidates stand on priorities like protecting a stable liability climate, promoting health care value, and opposing inappropriate scope of practice expansions. Being non-partisan and pro-physician, we are proud to have friends on both sides of the aisle: 52 percent of endorsed candidates were Democrats and 48 percent were Republicans. We support medicine’s champions and after November’s election many of those candidates will be going to the Capitol, including 88 percent of endorsed candidates in the House and 69 percent in the Senate winning their respective elections.
Heading into Election Day, conventional wisdom and expert insights suggested that Republicans had an opportunity to close the gap in the Colorado House and pick up seats or regain control of the Senate. As you likely already know, the opposite happened. Colorado voters sent a strong message with Democrats in both the Senate and the House now approaching super majority status.
So why do we do all this unpredictable election work? Because it matters. The fact is that passing a bill is one of the quickest and most profound ways to change the way we practice medicine and care for our patients. And in the coming year, we will face more legislative challenges and opportunities that will have a direct impact on both the lives of our patients and our professional satisfaction. That includes efforts to rein in cumbersome health plan administrative burdens like prior authorizations that sap the joy out of medicine, protecting patients from more unsafe attempts by non-physicians to expand their scopes of practice, and continuing to defend Colorado’s stable medical liability environment.
We fight for these things because quality, safe and affordable patient care is critical. Importantly, if physicians are feeling optimistic, that the future is bright, that we’re being treated fairly, then that makes us better caregivers. There’s a downstream effect to our and our patients’ wellbeing. I became involved in COMPAC two years ago because I believe that together we can make a difference for the profession at the state and federal level.
I’m proud of the foundational work we have already done through candidate interviews. I hope you are, too. Now that the election has passed, this is a crucial time to continue relationship-building. I encourage you to reach out to your legislators to offer your expertise as a physician constituent, or let the CMS Government Affairs team know that you want to be involved. You can join me by sharing your stories with your local legislators and with CMS about how proposed legislation will affect you and your patients. While you’re at it, please contribute to COMPAC and the CMS Small Donor Committee.
Now we continue our important work. Thank you for your active participation.