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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

TMA FIRMLY ENGAGED IN HEALTH SYSTEM REFORM DEBATE

Joined by other state medical societies and the American Medical Association, TMA is taking an active role in health system reform debates underway in both houses of Congress. Along with the California Medical Association, we wrote a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-Mont.) to oppose the use of another one-year “Band-Aid” Senator Baucus’ bill would place on the Sustainable Growth Rate formula Medicare uses to determine physician payments. We also took strong positions against the faulty physician rating systems in the bill, the proposed $350 “enrollment fee” for physicians to participate in Medicare and Medicaid, and other provisions. TMA President Bill Fleming, MD, also issued a news release and sent a letter asking the entire Texas Delegation in Congress to support extensive health insurance reforms. Dr. Fleming is urging TMA and TMA Alliance members to write Congress and President Obama in support of these reforms. We were pleased that the House Energy and Commerce Committee approved an amendment by U.S. Reps. Michael Burgess, MD (R-Lewisville), and Gene Green (D-Houston) that would require hospitals and health plans to be more transparent about the costs of health care services.

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