Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Resident's Day at the State House: Trainees Educating the Legislator

Each year, our Academy organizes RFDASH:  "Residents and Fellows Day at the State House" to bring to the legislators in the great State of Massachusetts, and today is that day.  We have great trainees in Massachusetts and they have once again organized a great experience in the State House.  Today, we are talking about 3 bills:
  • S.366.   An Act to Regulate the Use of Off Highway and Recreation Vehicles:  Kind of a no brainer: ATVs are dangerous to children, we need to figure out how keep kids from being hurt by them.  There is some opposition, so we need to point out the need for this legislation from a public health standpoint.
  • H.3586 and S.757.  An Act for the Coordination of Children's Mental Health Care Services:  You folks know all about this one:  if you don't, check out last week's blog entries.  One Senator seemed pretty certain that this would pass without too much trouble this year, especially because the fiscal analysis that was completed last July showed such a minimal budgetary impact.
  • H.3453 and S.859.  An Act Establishing the Massachusetts Childhood Vaccines Program and the Massachusetts Immunization Registry.   This last one is brilliant;  we are bringing the private sector into the immunization system so that we can once again be a universal vaccine state.  The interesting thing in discussing this bill is that the opposition to the legislation in at least one Representative's office is from the folks that don't want want to immunize their children.  The bill is about paying for vaccines for folks that want them and keeping track of the folks who have been immunized, largely to prevent over-immunization (currently, if we can't find your records, we have to assume you to be unimmunized).  All of the options for rejection of vaccines remain intact, although I confess that I don't understand people who reject one of the few bits of medicine that we understand really well.
What is nice about working for the Academy is how the causes for which we fight are usually on behalf of children and not simply working for better reimbursement.  It was great to see 60 residents and fellows add their names unto the fight.

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