The 2019 House of Delegates met on Sunday, April 7 in Madison. Delegates to the House from across the state reviewed and debated dozens of health care policy proposals, existing Society policies up for review and potential ratification of actions the Society’s Board of Directors has taken throughout the previous year.
Policy debates included an update to the Society’s marijuana-related policies and for the first time established explicit support for decriminalizing possession of cannabis for personal use. Other debates resulted in policies in a wide range of issues–from calling for a prohibition on the regular shackling of incarcerated women who are pregnant to supporting the strengthening of state statutes allowing physicians to engage in Direct Primary Care contractual relationships with patients.
The Society has also begun a process that could result in changes to the Society’s policymaking structure. Currently policy ideas are brought forward at the annual House of Delegates meeting. The Society’s Board has introduced a constitutional amendment proposal that would move that one-time-per-year process into a year-round endeavor by empowering the Board with approval powers. Several other state medical societies have made similar changes to their structures as a way to foster more physician membership policy ideas and debate.
Amending the Society’s constitution is a two-year process, with a final vote on the proposal scheduled for the 2020 House of Delegates meeting. In the meantime a special Task Force of Society members is being formed to study the proposal and make recommendations that, if approved by the House in 2020, hopes to foster a broader and more member-friendly Society policymaking process.
A full report of the House’s final actions will be available soon on the Society’s members-only website. Contact Mark Grapentine, JD in the Society’s Government Relations Department for more information.
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