By TRAVIS FITZWATER | MPA Chief Operating Officer
What really happens in an election year at the Legislature in Missouri? Answer: A lot of posturing, deal making, leveling the boat so it won’t tip and throw it’s passengers in the waters, slow moving legislation and chatter regarding bills that should or shouldn’t pass.
It’s always fun having a big agenda in an election year (Sense the sarcasm?) because very little gets done during these sessions. From partisan bickering to in party fighting to long filibusters to opportunities to positively affect one’s own reelection chances no matter the cost, we get to see more than we bargain for in election years. It’s a necessary part of the process, and election years on a general basis stop a lot more bad legislation than good, which is a good thing. But, the downside to election year politics is that it makes it more difficult to achieve success as we fight to protect our profession with important legislation that will:
1. Level the playing field for pharmacists and pharmacies,
2. Expand your ability to practice pharmacy with new opportunities and patient centered care,
3. Move preventative care forward out of the “Talking about it” stage to “Getting it done” stage,
4. Offer business owners incentives to stay in business in an competitive environment and state,
5. Continue to create opportunities for graduating students to join the workforce in Missouri …
Our work in Jefferson City is so crucial, even in election years when the going is tough! The MPA’s MISSION is to “Promote the role of pharmacists in patient care relationships as the medication expert.” Through the legislative process, we can work to ensure that you continue to be the person patients go to for medication expertise. Without you, patients have limited options to receive necessary care. In an election year, if we aren’t involved with legislators, state representatives and senators, congressmen and women, U.S. Senators, and any other elected officials, we will unfortunately fall to the wayside as the road blocks mentioned above, namely bickering and a legislators refusal to rock the boat, stop any momentum we may achieve towards affecting patients positively in Missouri.
What we’re saying is, if you’re involved in the lives of your legislators and what’s going on in Missouri’s Legislature, the opportunity to cut through the BS and get something done is tremendous, even in an election year! We can make sure pharmacists and the stores that you work in stay in business for a long time, but it takes hard work to cut through the craziness and get down to brass tacks and accomplish our goals.
So, please consider getting involved in the process, getting to know your legislators, inviting them to your stores, showing them how hard you work and the service you provide to patients around Missouri. The Legislature will live on without pharmacists, but pharmacists will not live on without impacting the legislature positively for the profession of pharmacy!