May 6, 2003

Letter Writing Campain
May, 2003

Review of the Day:

Hi folks,

I know you all must be wondering about how Lobby Day went. As the group of New York State residents, you are the ones most effected by it and the ones who have been willing to fight this fight. I am sorry this post is coming so late, but I have been somewhat wiped out recently. Sheepishly, I tell you that I was unable to actually get to the event because of a major health crash so the information I am giving you is second hand.

So here is the brief summary. About fifty spirited New Yorkers, almost all of whom are ill, were able to get up to Albany that day and lobby their hearts out. Because I was such a mess even before the event, several people pitched in to help. A lot!!! I am particularly grateful to Jill and Lia who stepped in and did a huge amount of work without which this would not have been a success. Ira, Linda, Anna, Cheryl, Rosanne and others all pitched in at various points to organize this event.

The day after lobby day, the Albany Times Union, the newspaper read by all the legislators, published a letter to the editor from Cheryl about the political battle in New York State!!! See: Doctors need tools to treat Lyme disease (Link expired).

The overall consensus was that the response of most legislators or their aides was quite positive. This was very unlike three years ago when we started lobbying in local offices of legislators and were treated like we were nuts. We have come a very long way, and finally the finish line is in sight

Senator Hannon, the chair of the Senate Health Committee is much more open to hearing us now. He is, however, still not convinced of the need to reform the OPMC. Because of the financial crises within the states this year, the legislature has been very tied up with the budget and only now will get a chance to consider legislation. We will be sending you details soon about a letter writing campaign to Senator Hannon that will highlight the points that would most help convince him to support our bills.

As you know, the legislative session is only 6 months long in New York State, so we have only a matter of a few weeks to get our bills passed. Our concern is that unless the bills are passed during this session, an uncontrolled OPMC might succeed in revoking the licenses of our doctors currently under investigation, including Dr. Liegner. It could also re-charge those who have already been through the process once. So please keep alert for further posts from NYLyme.

With much love and thanks to all of you,

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