The Washington Times-Herald

January 23, 2009

Messmer learning ropes at Statehouse


As the law stands now, if the doctor who made the diagnosis determines that it could be dangerous to a patient’s mental health to see his or her own records, the doctor can withhold the records from the patient. Messmer’s bill would allow a second doctor, of the patient’s choosing, to review the records and determine if the patient can have them.

“This bill would align the state law with federal law,” he says.

After trying to catch Day a few times in the afternoon, Messmer calls his Jasper home to talk to his wife, Kim. She goes through his personal e-mails with him, telling him what each topic is and he says “save it” for the important ones and “delete” to the junk mail.

After a few minutes, he prepares to hang up. “Tell Maddie I’ll call around 6’ish to check on her math homework,” he says. Every evening Messmer and his 14-year-old daughter use Web cams and their computers to go over her math homework.

He heads to the Marriott Hotel for a reception, one of two for the evening.

“We’ve had at least one of these every evening since we’ve been here,” says Oxley, also in attendance. He snacks on the cold shrimp, cheese and fruit while members of the Indiana CPA Society make small talk about the session. The state’s certified public accountants don’t seem to have a particular agenda, Oxley notes as he and other legislators move from the CPA reception to a reception with the Green Industry Alliance at the Hyatt Hotel.

“But this will be dinner for me,” he says.

Both Oxley and Messmer still have full nights ahead of them — Messmer working on homework and Oxley calling his wife, Beverly, in Taswell before he reads over legislation that will be discussed the next morning in the Labor and Employment Committee, on which he sits.

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