by Lee Morgan, MD, Chair, CMS Council on Legislation
Featured in the January/February 2019 Colorado Medicine.
You have no doubt read in this issue of Colorado Medicine and in much of our communications to members over the past few months that the 2019 Colorado legislative session will be one of the most challenging in decades, if not the most challenging ever. A perfect storm is on the horizon that will stretch our resources to the max as we address issues that have been building over the past decade and are now at a boiling point, as well as respond to other issues sure to arise but not yet known.
We are fortunate to have developed relationships with legislators through tried-and-true methods like COMPAC’s candidate screening process that demonstrate to elected officials and other health care advocacy groups that the Colorado Medical Society is a trusted source on the experience of Colorado physicians in the health care system, and that we are willing to work toward the best result for Colorado patients.
I have been privileged to have served as the chair of the Council on Legislation for eight years and will complete my final term at the end of 2019. The dedicated members of the COL analyze legislation as it is developed, revised and considered by the General Assembly, and determine our position based on CMS policy and the recommendations of our lobby team. The COL meets twice a month during the legislative session. If you are interested in volunteering to sit on the COL, in person or connecting online, I urge you to do so. We need the input of physicians from all specialties and career stages for our deliberations. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information on vacancies.
Paramount to our advocacy efforts are our COMPAC donors. I urge all members to contribute to COMPAC and consider becoming a regular dues-paying member. Dues are the fuel by which we can help support our endorsed candidates. The secure, online payment system is available at www.cms.org/contribute, and the two-year contribution cycle reset in December 2018. In addition to COMPAC, you can donate up to $50 annually to the CMS Small Donor Committee, which exclusively works to elect candidates who support medicine’s efforts to preserve Colorado’s stable tort environment.
I invite you to develop relationships with your elected officials. Physicians sharing their experiences in medicine is the best way to influence policy. One easy way to do this is by downloading and using the free CSAE Colorado Legislative App from the Colorado Society of Association Executives (CSAE), or through the Colorado General Assembly’s Find Your Legislator tool on the General Assembly’s website:
COMPAC periodically sends email alerts asking members in key districts to contact legislators regarding critical pieces of legislation. I strongly encourage you to respond to these alerts as soon as you can. When our voice is strong and loud at the capital through these grassroots outreach efforts, it makes a difference.
Thank you for all that you do for your patients. Together we can affect change on the state level to make health care better for all of Colorado.