General Assembly...Still in Session?

Written by Executive Vice President, Public Policy and Association Affairs, Andy Sandusky

July 17, 2020

It is mid-July, a stopgap budget has been enacted and the General Assembly is still in legislative session.  There have been years past that legislators have been in session deep into the summer, but that has been almost exclusively because of budget impasses. But this esoteric year has brought unpredictability to everything, including Pennsylvania state government.  There are still volleys of partisan wrangling on the Democratic Governor’s emergency powers in a pandemic on one side and the Republican-led House and Senate to limit those powers on the other.  In many respects, Pennsylvania has mirrored the national debate on how many liberties the American people are willing to forgo to conform to the public health needs brought on by the pandemic.

POMA has correctly positioned itself above the political fights and concentrated on providing its membership with as many facts and resourced information as possible to help Osteopathic physicians during the pandemic.  POMA has been successful with the Administration in obtaining some liability protection for physicians and limiting the advancement of non-physician provider scope of practice expansion through executive order. It is hopeful as we move into the Fall, we can focus some time and attention in state government away from the pandemic and revert to concentrating on insurance and liability reforms on behalf of physicians and patients.  But it is still a guessing game to see what pathway Pennsylvania and the Country will take in the age of COVID-19.