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    1 Apr 2015

    Alabama lawmaker tries to repeal law named after patient who died in his care

    hadrack McGill should have been the warning - be careful who you vote for, because the deadbeat you know might be better than the deadbeat you don't.
    State Sen. Lowell Barron, D-Fyfe, was supposed to be unbeatable. He had been, after all, the core of the Democratic establishment in the Alabama Senate. The conventional wisdom had been that voters hated the legislature but loved their legislators. Barron was bulletproof. There was no way he could lose.
    But then he did.

    And the guy who beat him, now former state Sen. Shadrack McGill, R-Macedonia, turned out to be a complete untampered goofball (and a political columnist's dream). He argued that giving raises to teachers was unbiblical. He said that constituents who cared more about the budget than social issues were "less educated." His wife - apparently unfamiliar with Facebook spam - said women kept trying to proposition her husband on social media. And when he was cornered about all of these blunders, he compared himself to Jesus.
    After one term in the legislature, McGill didn't seek a second term. Part of me was sad to see him go (the part that panics when I don't have some chucklehead to write about at deadline).
    But never fear, because the last election gave us Shadrack McGill, MD.
    Or, to use his real name, state Sen. Larry Stutts.

    That guy who beat Bedford

    Much like McGill, Stutts defeated an old Alabama Democrat whom many thought to be invincible, state Sen. Roger Bedford. After an automatic recount, just 70 votes separated the two candidates.
    And, as before, few folks throughout the state knew that much about the new guy, Stutts, except that he was an OB-GYN and he was a Republican, which put him on the winning side of Alabama's political divide, now even in the district of the once-unbeatable Bedford. 

    Three months later, he introduced one of his first pieces of legislation, SB289, which would repeal a state law requiring insurers to cover hospitals stays for new mothers at least 48 hours after they delivered their newborns.
    I need to disclose something here. I have some skin in this game. My wife and I are expecting a boy in August. Unless the little guy has other plans, we intend to have him in a hospital, and I'd quite like it if my wife and child got to spend the time there that they need. So that's my disclosure.

    The key thing, though, is that Stutts had something he should have disclosed, but he didn't.

    Rose's Law

    Here's the story about how the law came to be as it is now. In December 1998, Rose Church, a nurse from Haleyville, went to Helen Keller Hospital in Sheffield, Ala., to have a healthy baby girl. Unfortunately, Rose died more than a week later after complications, signs of which were not detected in the early hours after her delivery.
    Her husband, Gene Church, pushed for a new law in Montgomery, which came to be called "Rose's Law." That law, which the Alabama Legislature passed unanimously, required insurers to allow women coverage for at least 48 hours hospitalization after childbirth.
    That's the law Stutts wants to repeal, in addition to another requirement that caregivers notify patients if they have dense breast tissue, which can impede mammograms.
    Keep in mind that no one else, except for Stutts' six cosponsors for the bill, seem to be against this. Healthcare providers have told other media outlets that they are fine with the law as it is, and the lobbyists to represent the healthcare industry have not taken a position on the legislation.

    But here's the awful kicker, which the political blog Alabama Political Reporter uncovered this week. Gene Church not only fought to pass Rose's Law. He also sued his late wife's OB-GYN for malpractice.
    And that man was Sen. Larry Stutts.

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