Midterm elections: COMPAC makes great gains for medicine thanks to physician engagement

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 08:36 AM
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Jerry Johnson

With the results in from the 2014 midterm elections, the Colorado Medical Political Action Committee reports strong gains for medicine. COMPAC endorsed 82 federal and state candidates and 77 were elected. Wins and losses aside, this was a significant election in that it reestablished the balance for which Colorado is known. The voters sent a clear message to legislators that they want elected officials to rise above the partisanship and work together to tackle big issues.

Though Republicans captured the state Senate and will send Rep. Cory Gardner to Washington as a U.S. senator, incumbent Gov. John Hickenlooper will remain in office and Democrats will keep control of the state House by a thin margin.

The bipartisan Colorado Commission on Affordable Health Care has a strong probability of being very influential with Gov. Hickenlooper and the Colorado Medical Society is very engaged with this group. CMS is forming a Blue Ribbon Task Force on Health Care Cost and Quality to ensure interactions with the commission are well planned. (Click here to apply; applications must be received by Dec. 1.)

The house of medicine in Colorado remains in a great position chiefly because of the COMPAC candidate briefing and interview process. Through this process, local physicians—working with CMS and component society staff—brief candidates on medicine’s priority issues, including the liability climate, health care reform, managed care, and scope of practice. It’s a dialogue: Physicians and lobbyists get to hear how the candidate feels about the issues and the candidate learns about the passion that physicians have for issues affecting patients and practice.

The interview process serves the organization well because, regardless of whether candidates agree with COMPAC’s position on these issues, they get to know their local medical community leaders better and understand that doctors in his or her community are engaged. This engagement is paramount. COMPAC thanks every physician who participated in the 2014 candidate interviews and encourages all members to get involved in future elections.

Watch for more in-depth election analysis from CMS lobbyist Jerry Johnson, Colorado policy expert Floyd Ciruli, and CMS CEO Alfred Gilchrist in the November-December issue of Colorado Medicine.

Posted in: ASAP | Initiatives | Advocacy


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