Your NCMS PAC made significant candidate contributions to friends of medicine on both sides of the aisle this election cycle. Over 91% of those contributions made by your NCMS PAC supported winning candidates. While this does not diminish the challenges we are facing in the 2011 session of the General Assembly, it does position our physician advocacy efforts for success.
In some of the most expensive contests on record, Senate Republicans regained seats held by Democrats in districts that favored Republican candidates and then continued their winning streak by capturing all of the swing seats and all but two leaning Democrat seats. House Republicans followed nearly the same path to victory. Both chambers are now controlled by Republicans with nearly identical numbers to those that the Democrats had during this past session.
Our work on behalf of physicians is not over. It is truly just beginning. Party divides between the Legislative and Executive Branches are likely to lead to some divisive discussions in the coming months. The looming budget deficit will force legislators to make difficult decisions about spending cuts that many previous General Assemblies have minimized partially through tax increases. That option does not seem as viable this time around. Physicians from across the state continue to seek meaningful tort reform and appropriate health plan regulation. Finally,physicians are all very aware of the health reform implementation questions that lie ahead.
The NCMS Legislative Cabinet will be developing recommendations regarding legislative priorities for the 2011 session. Look for updates on the NCMS Website and in the Bulletin.
One final, important note: Physician participation in this election was meaningful and it was noticed. Physicians need to keep this level of enthusiasm as we march into the 2011 Session. Legislators will be looking to their local physicians for answers and we need you to be that resource when called upon.