Public Policy Council Overview
A primary function of the Maine Hospital Association is legislative advocacy on behalf of its member hospitals. The MHA Public Policy Council (PPC) is the mechanism the Maine Hospital Association uses to develop positions on legislation.
The Public Policy Council is composed of 17 hospital CEOs and health system executives, appointed annually by the chair of the MHA Board of Directors.
Each two-year legislative session will see between 1,700 and 2,000 bills filed. MHA staff reviews every bill to see if there is a hospital-related impact. If there is, MHA will “track” the bill. MHA tracks around 10-12% of all bills filed or 170-220 bills per two-year session.
Each week MHA will send to all Maine hospital CEOs a document titled “Bills of Interest,” providing cursory information about the bills the Association is tracking.
Adopting a Position
For each bill that MHA staff decides to track, the PPC will determine: (1) whether MHA takes a position on a bill, and if so, (2) what that position is. The PPC-adopted position is technically a recommendation to the MHA Board, which is authorized to take positions on behalf of MHA. There are four possible positions the PPC could take:
- “Neither For Nor Against”
- No Position/track
Each week during the session MHA sends Board members, the PPC and hospital CEOs a “Legislative Update” email explaining what is happening in Augusta.
Occasionally, hospital leaders will receive an “Action Alert” email asking them to contact their legislators on a particular topic. MHA uses the Action Alert system sparingly. It is typically reserved for legislation with a financial impact or that would significantly alter hospital activities.
For more information contact the MHA Vice President for Governmental Affairs and Communications, Jeffrey Austin.