AAPS Washington State is continuing to keep members informed through monthly fax bulletins that outline pertinent legislative issues and tell doctors how they can take action. The bulletins help members stay informed and provide a contact between the state office and members all over the state. At this time, though, AAPS Washington State is seeking new funding sources for the association’s newsletter, Physicians and Surgeons News. The newsletter reaches more than 4,000 physicians and surgeons throughout the state each time it’s published.
Washington State’s legislative session began on Monday, January 12, 1998. AAPS Washington State will continue to support legislation that promotes free market medicine and encourages the use of Medical Savings Accounts (MSAs). The Washington State chapter of the AAPS has long supported the concept of MSAs. Therefore, when the opportunity to organize and design an AAPS Washington State MSA program came about, members of the association were the first to pursue such a program. We will continue to keep you informed as issues develop, particularly throughout the legislative sessions.
Representative Bill Backlund planned to re-introduce legislation to provide recipients of the state health plan with a MSA option. This legislation will allow recipients of the plan to choose a MSA in lieu of the managed care plan that is currently offered. We have worked with Representative Backlund in the past and hope 1998 will be the year for this legislation to pass.
Last fall, AAPS Washington State worked in support of a managed care disclosure initiative that was on the ballot in Washington. Although the ballot measure was defeated at the polls, it was still an opportunity to debate certain aspects of managed care and a way to keep the issue in the public eye.
In conclusion, the AAPS Washington State chapter continues to work on behalf of physicians by keeping them informed on private practice issues at the state level and advocating these issues before the state legislature. As private practice issues continue to draw support, AAPS Washington State will continue to find new ways to reach lawmakers, physicians, and the public.
Mr. Schellberg is an attorney with the firm of Smith, Alling, and Lane in Tacoma, Washington and legal counsel to the AAPS. He serves as legal advisor to the Washington State Chapter of the AAPS. His address is 1102 Broadway Plaza, Suite 403, Tacoma, WA 98402. (253) 627-1091.
Originally published in the Medical Sentinel 1998;3(5):191. Copyright © 1998 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS).