Add your comment below for Resolution #9
Those who desire to submit comments on resolutions presented to the House of Delegates are subject to MSMA’s Conflict of Interest policy. You can read the policy here. Please indicate any potential conflicts you may have in the first sentence of your comments.
Comments Submitted by Most Recent-Updated by MSMA
>>>Joanne Loethen, MD - representing self
Joanne Loethen, speaking on behalf of myself, in support of the spirit of this resolution, but with hesitation for adoption due to the same sentiments shared by Dr. Hruza in this virtual forum. Ensuring equitable access to voting for all - including patients, front-line workers, and essential workers - is no doubt essential to out democracy. Grassroots organizations like VotER (https://vot-er.org) have allowed physicians to engage in voter registration efforts. My concern is whether this falls under the direct purview of MSMA. In addition to Dr. Hruza's comments, I would add that being an organization with a lobbying arm, we should consider whether this would be a conflict of interest. It certainly does not seem that way to most of us - equitable access to voting is a citizen's right. Regardless, it has the potential to be twisted into seeming as such. If adopted, deliberate wording will be important to avoid this.
>>>George Hruza, MD - representing self
This resolution wades into an issue with significant partisan components and is outside the scope of MSMA's advocacy efforts that are utilizing our limited resources on healthcare-specific issues for the benefit of our patients and Missouri physicians. My concern is that pushing for this issue in Jefferson City will hurt our efforts on the many other healthcare-related issues we are advocating for (use up political capital) and with the current make-up of the legislature has minimal chance of success. My personal experience during the pandemic has been that voting allowances for absentee voting was significantly simplified. I requested a ballot, filled out out when received by mail, signed it and sent it in the postage-paid envelope included with the ballot. COVID-19 related absentee voting did not require to have my signature notarized. I am not aware of significant issues with the Missouri election system during the last election (unlike some other states). Why fix something that is not broken? I suggest sending this resolution to Council for further consideration of its various implications.