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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

THREE TEXAS CONGRESSMEN ASK PELOSI TO PROTECT TEXAS TORT REFORMS IN HEALTH BILL

The final federal health system reform bill shouldn’t in any way override Texas’ successful 2003 liability reforms, and it shouldn’t create new causes of legal action against physicians, U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) and two of his colleagues wrote in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Reps. Gene Green (D-Houston) and Charlie Gonzalez (D-San Antonio) joined Representative Cuellar’s request. The letter comes on the heels of a very successful trip I took to Capitol Hill with TMA President-Elect Sue Bailey, MD; Council on Legislation Chair Dan McCoy, MD; and chief lobbyist Darren Whitehurst. Along with delegations from California and other state societies, we met with Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.), chair of the Health Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee; Rep. Michael Burgess, MD (R-Lewisville); and staff of Speaker Pelosi and Reps. Cuellar, Green, and Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. In all of our meetings, we discussed how Congress must replace the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula with a stable funding platform for physicians’ Medicare payments and other health system reform issues.

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