I am Alain Chaoui, a family physician in Peabody and the President of the Massachusetts
Medical Society. I come to you today with an update about an incredibly busy time in our state’s legislative session. With two weeks to go, we can definitely say this session has been full of ups and downs. We have seen our advocacy efforts succeed with the passage of important legislation related to contraception access and paid family leave as well as a major bill addressing the opioid crisis containing many priority issues that were first raised by you, the members of the Massachusetts Medical Society. What I really want to address today is a comprehensive health care cost and access bill that has been in development for almost a year and is currently under final negotiation. The Massachusetts Medical Society has strong concerns about several provisions, including fee increases on physicians’ licenses, and regulation and taxes on ambulatory surgery centers, office-based surgery, and urgent care clinics. We believe that the proposed high taxation rate based on charges would significantly jeopardize the survival of many practices. I am concerned this could hurt our patients and their access to care. The Massachusetts Medical Society has been active every step of the way. We have testified at hearings, we have drafted letters with state medical specialty societies and national partners, we have built coalitions, passed amendments to improve bills, and engaged in countless meetings with legislators and staffers. For these efforts, I would like to extend my deepest thanks to the many physicians who responded to our Call to Action sent a few weeks ago to 25,000 members. And to my colleagues who were busy with
patients, charts, and taking calls I assure you that we spoke loudly on your behalf. I urge you to take a look at the
resources available on our website and to join us in our ongoing advocacy efforts. Remember – our voices are our strengths.