Friday, February 25, 2005
AAOS kicks off Phase II of MLR CampaignBy Stuart L. Weinstein, MD
Phase II of the AAOS Medical Liability Reform (MLR) Campaign is underway. The re-election of George W. Bush as president and the victories by supporters of medical liablity reform increase the chances of obtaining a federal solution in the next election cycle. The AAOS and the MLR Oversight Committee will continue to help states at the "tipping point" achieve meaningful and constitutionally sustainable reform at the state level, through our grants program to state orthopaedic societies.
We can be justifiably proud of our efforts to date. We have experienced significant victories on the state front and an increased likelihood of achieving success of the federal level. With a President who places a high priority on achieving medical liability reform, with a House of Representatives that supports reform and with a more favorable balance in the Senate, we must redouble our efforts to succeed.
On the federal level, the Doctors for Medical Liabilty Reform (DMLR) coalition is also beginning its Phase II federal campaign. Efforts will continue to educate the public, business leaders and legislators about the disastrous effects of the continually worsening medical liability crisis on the nation's health care and economy.
We have produced newsmagazine videos for six states: Florida, Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Washington. The impact of these newsmagazines and our efforts are already being felt.Georgia recently passed reform legislation! The American public is fully aware of the increasing threat that this crisis has on their access to health care.
In addition, DMLR is expanding its membership and has begun fund raising for the 2006 election year efforts. The medical liability crisis is the number one issue affecting our member's ability to practice, yet only 8.5 percent of AAOS members contributed to Phase I of the campign. Imagine how effective our efforts would be if that number doubled as we move into Phase II of this campaign.
We have made giant steps toward achieving medical liability reform in this election cycle. But during the next election cycle, the window of opportunity will narrow, and the stakes will be higher for our patients and our profession. We need each and every member of the orthopaedic community to answer the call to action.