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Monday, June 22, 2009

GOVERNOR PERRY VETOES BAD LIABILITY BILL

Gov. Rick Perry stopped a sneak attack from the Texas Trial Lawyers Association by vetoing a bill that would have weakened Texas’ landmark 2003 health care liability reforms. “The bill’s provision regarding physician liability was neither debated nor discussed, but rather amended onto this bill late in the session,” the governor said in his veto message of House Bill 3485. “It risks unraveling the progress we made in curtailing excessive liability and ensuring that patients who need physicians will be able to find them.” TMA President Bill Fleming, MD, issued a news release, applauding Governor Perry “for recognizing that we cannot risk even the slightest dent in a new liability system that has worked exactly as promised. … We are proud that Governor Perry always has been and remains a true champion for our patients by standing tall and leading the way toward enacting and protecting the 2003 liability reforms.” TMA worked closely with Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston), the bill’s author, to forge strong protections for physicians’ clinical autonomy before the legislation was sabotaged by the trial lawyers’ 11th-hour amendment.

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