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A Quick Note From Andy Carter: The Importance of Each Election Day

November 01, 2021

I make a point to cast my ballot each Election Day.

Not only is voting my civic duty as an American, but I know that the choices I make at the polls will influence policies that affect the health care community for years to come. That’s just as true for judicial and local elections as it is those years we select the U.S. President, Pennsylvania governor, members of Congress, and state legislators. 

It can be easy to lose sight of the importance of odd-year elections when we’re not bombarded with the cacophony of ads and rallies and signs and drama that come with a presidential or gubernatorial race. But in health care, we know that every election cycle matters. 

On November 2, we will have an opportunity to select a new state Supreme Court justice, as well as judges for Commonwealth and Superior courts. The state courts have a profound influence on numerous issues of concern for hospitals such as false claims, workplace regulation, liability, data protections and access, anti-trust, and more.

Justices exert more practical power than any senator or representative. They only select a few hundred cases a year, and those they do hear typically have significant and immediate statewide implications. In recent years, the court has been a major arbiter between the Wolf administration and the Republican-controlled legislature, ruling on cases related to election maps, the pandemic response, and emergency powers. 

In addition to the courts, we will also be paying close attention to municipal offices around the commonwealth. 

Pennsylvania has a long and proud tradition of local government as close to the people as possible. As Washington and Harrisburg become ever more hyperbolic and gridlocked, actual day-to-day governance is taking place at the local level. County, municipal, and school board leaders make key decisions about community spending, services, improvements, projects, and schools. They are also the next generation of state and national leaders. 

On behalf of HAP and our members, we encourage everyone to vote.