The Committee on Legislation
The Committee on Legislation in collaboration with the Chapter’s lobbyist, Ed Brennan, tracks legislation relevant to children’s health and the profession of pediatrics, recommends positions to the Executive Board, and provides testimony on bills. The Committee also updates the Executive Board on the state budget process as well as the budget’s potential impact on the health and well being of children in the Commonwealth. The Committee works in collaboration with other MCAAP committees and other groups who are invested in children’s health. The goals of the Committee are to:
- be knowledgeable about proposed legislation on the local, state and national level that are of importance to the children and pediatricians of Massachusetts;
- provide a forum for Committee members, Chapter members and others to discuss information about legislation concerning the health and well being of children or the practice of pediatrics and provide follow up as appropriate; and
- recommend appropriate actions to the Executive Board after study and discussion of these issues.
This year some of the areas of focus for the Committee have included:
- Health Care Payment Reform. The Chapter is actively engaged in the debate over reforming the health care payment system in Massachusetts. With the assistance of Committee members, MCAAP has been carefully monitoring the plans for implementation and has, and will continue to, strongly advocate on behalf of children to ensure that quality and appropriate care are accessible to all children in the Commonwealth. In addition, we will continue to advocate for appropriate reimbursement for pediatricians.
- Continued support for immunization legislation, specifically the Childhood Vaccine Program which would create a stable financing framework (Trust Fund) enabling Massachusetts to guarantee that all children 0-18 years of age receive all the vaccines recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. It would also fund the Massachusetts Immunization Registry which assists providers in keeping immunizations up-to-date by identifying those who are not vaccinated.
- Continuation of the award winning Annual Residents and Fellows Day at the State House (RFDASH). In this program trainees learn, through lectures and meetings with representatives, how to lobby effectively on child advocacy issues of concern to them. The last RFDASH was held on June 16, 2016.
- Support to increase funding for early intervention services, WIC, mental health consultation services (MCPAP), and the school readiness for young children with behavioral problems program.
Further details of our legislative work can be found in the report from the legal counsel on the MCAAP web site at www.mcaap.org under the “legislation” tab.
We welcome the participation of any Chapter members interested in legislation and will continue to reach out to experts within the chapter to lend their knowledge to legislative issues regarding the health of children.