October 16, 2015
Area(s) of Interest: MICRA Physician Leadership
Outgoing California Medical Association (CMA) President and Humboldt County physician, Luther Cobb, M.D., today addressed the 144th House of Delegates (HOD), looking back at his year of service to the association.
“This was a fascinating year,” he said, characterizing it as one of change, full of challenges, and “the experience of a lifetime.”
In his speech before the more than 500 physicians, residents and medical students in attendance, he outlined for the delegates the victories that CMA has achieved in the past two years.
“Our greatest victory came just before I took office,” he said. That achievement was the crushing 2 to 1 ballot box victory over the trail lawyers who sponsored Proposition 46. This was a measure that would have increased malpractice insurance awards and raised the cost of malpractice insurance for physicians in the state.
He also mentioned several measures that passed on the national level. “I attended the White House Rose Garden signing of the new law (Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015) that would end the Medicare sustainable growth rate (SGR).” This was a substantial victory for CMA who along with its physician leadership had worked tirelessly for over 11 years to get the SGR rpealed.
In his final remarks, Dr. Cobb spoke about the governance reform that CMA has undertaken. “I am very optimistic about this reform, “he said. Our new structure “will allow us to take the pulse of the house by using instantaneous communication.” Instead of working for only one weekend a year on physician issues, “we can work year round and engage the whole membership this way.”
Dr. Cobb urged the House of Delegates to remain committed to their role of discussing and completing resolutions that help make policy on the state and national level. “This is a democratic process that has been in place in CMA for over 100 years. We owe it to those we care for and our profession to carry it on.”
Dr. Cobb is also a former chair of the CMA Council on Legislation and has served on the organization’s Executive Committee since 2006. He will serve one additional year on the Executive Committee as Immediate Past President.