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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

TMA'S HEALTH REFORM MESSAGE STAYS THE SAME: KEEP WHAT'S GOOD, FIX WHAT'S BROKEN

Our trip to D.C. and the advocacy communication class reinforced to me the importance of having a simple, consistent message on something as vital and complicated as health system reform. We’re still telling our representatives and senators to “keep what’s good and fix what’s broken” in today’s health care system. All of our positions are based on principles endorsed by the TMA House of Delegates. As the congressional debate moves into its final stages, here are our primary concerns and requests:
  • Both sides of the aisle continue to play political games with medicine over how and when they will fix the SGR formula. If both Democrats and Republicans recognize that the formula is flawed and needs to be fixed, why can’t we get the job done? We’re asking every member of our congressional delegation for a commitment to support a fix to the SGR – no ifs, ands, or buts. Medicine is not responsible for the huge budget hole that Congress created on the issue; we just want the problem fixed so physicians can continue providing care to patients.
  • We don’t know exactly where the debate on health system reform will end; we do know that the current bills have provisions we support and others to which we are adamantly opposed because they will result in harm to patients. We are asking Texas senators and representatives to tell us they will support our upcoming efforts with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and other agencies that implement the bill to ensure that patients continue to receive appropriate care and that the patient-physician relationship is protected from outside influence.

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