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Monday, March 22, 2010

TMA "SADDENED AND DISAPPOINTED" IN HOUSE HEALTH BILL VOTE

It’s all over but the signing. Amid a flurry of last-minute arm twisting and deal making, the U.S. House of Representatives last night approved far-reaching health system reform legislation, 219-212. TMA sent a letter to all 32 Texans in Congress, asking them to vote against the bill. At the bell, the Texans voted almost purely along party lines. All of the state’s Republican representatives plus Rep. Chet Edwards (D-Waco) voted against it; all the rest of the Democrats voted for it. “We are disappointed and saddened that Congress and President Obama would pass a half-baked Senate proposal and call it ‘Health System Reform,’” TMA President Bill Fleming, MD, said in a statement issued after the historic vote. “The bill is simply bad medicine for patients and the state of Texas.” Assuming President Obama signs the legislation and the U.S. Senate approves an accompanying set of amendments, TMA faces a four-fold set of challenges for physicians:
  • We will continue to fight for a permanent replacement of Medicare’s Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula for physician payments. (See below for more details.)
  • We will continuously advocate in Congress on behalf of physicians and your patients for necessary changes in the new law.
  • We will actively participate in the process that is sure to add thousands of new pages of federal health care rules.
  • Our practice management team will educate members on the details of the new law, provide guidance on how to stay out of federal hot water, and use all of our resources to help physicians develop and grow viable practices in this new health care landscape.

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