National and Federal Politics are handled primarily by our national organization, the AAPA. Local and State Politics are the responsibility of the Maryland Academy. You can read more about the Academy’s efforts at “A Brief History of MdAPA”.
There is a formal system of state government operation taking place, as well as an informal one, and it is important to have insight into both.
Legislation: is the crafting, submission, negotiation, and passage or defeat of laws and statutes by the state assembly (senators and delegates). All legislation must be signed by the governor following the legislative session before it becomes law (statute). Bills (proposed legislation) may originate in the House or the Senate. Bills which originate in one chamber must crossover and be agreed on in the other before passage. House Bills are prefixed with HB before the number and Senate bills are prefixed with SB. Maryland’s PA laws or statutes are found under the Code of Maryland at the LexisNexis site (not to be confused with COMAR or Code of Maryland Regulations – see Regulations below). Statute regarding physician assistants is under Maryland Code, Health Occupations, Title 15.
Session: the 90-day period from the second Wednesday in January to the first or second Monday in April (Sine Die). For other important session dates see the Maryland General Assembly session calendar.
Regulations: are the more specific and detailed rules which provide for the enactment of the statute. It is the regulations which are the written embodiment of the statute. They are usually written with the help of attorneys related to the body which the statute affects. Maryland’s PA regulations are in the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) under Title 10, Subtitle 32 (10.32.03).
Lobbyist: an individual who helps craft and promote legislation for a group. Lobbyists are essential to providing a power base for a smaller group.
Political Action Committee (PAC): Is designed to raise money for lobbyists and contributions to legislators friendly to our cause. Mandated because non-profit groups (such as MdAPA) have limits on how much and in what way they can spend money on legislation.
Reimbursement: the paying for services rendered by a Physician Assistant by insurance companies.
MdAPA’s Legislative Affairs committee current director is Brandon McMullen, PA-C. The PA practice act continues to be assaulted by interest groups which are hostile to PAs. We are always in need of hard workers. Knowing your legislator is the most important thing you can do as a PA in Maryland. If you are interested in helping further by serving on the legislative committee contact the Legislative Director, Brandon McMullen, PA-C at LegislativeDirector@mdapa.org.