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Monday, June 30, 2008

TMA REACTS STRONGLY TO STALLED MEDICARE PAYMENT BILL

Hundreds of angry Texas physicians clogged the phone lines and e-mail boxes in the offices of U.S. Sens. John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison to complain about the senators’ votes against a bill to forestall tomorrow’s 10.6-percent cut in physicians’ Medicare payments. The bill failed by one vote, and Congress promptly left Washington for the July 4 recess. “Texas physicians are deeply offended that [the senators] chose to protect insurance companies’ profits instead of protecting our patients’ health,” TMA President Josie Williams, MD, said. In a show of no confidence for Senator Cornyn, the TEXPAC Executive Committee voted unanimously to withdraw our endorsement for his reelection. “There is talk and then there is action,” said TEXPAC Board Chair Manny Acosta, MD. “We expect our elected officials to show leadership and do the right thing. Absent that, TEXPAC has rescinded our endorsement of your candidacy.” Our strong words and actions earned TMA and TEXPAC positive coverage in the New York Times and media outlets across Texas. They also brought a phone call from Senator Cornyn to Dr. Williams explaining his vote. The American Medical Association joined TMA and state and specialty medical societies around the nation in protesting the Senate’s lack of action."

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