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Monday, February 14, 2011

TMA-CONNECTED LEGISLATURES WELL PLACED FOR COMING BATTLES

I don’t think doctors and patients could have asked for much more when it came to placing members of the Family of Medicine on key Texas House and Senate Committees. Three TMA member-legislators and one TMA Alliance member were appointed to the Texas House Appropriations and Public Health committees by House Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio). These two powerful committees make critical budget and public health decisions. They are: Reps. Susan King (R-Abilene); Charles Schwertner, MD (R-Georgetown); Mark Shelton, MD (R-Fort Worth); and John Zerwas, MD (R-Simonton). Representative Zerwas, the only one of the four not serving on the Public Health Committee, will also chair the House Appropriations Subcommittee, writing health and human services portions of the budget. Across the rotunda, Sen. Bob Deuell, MD (R-Greenville), the only physician and the only TMA member in the Senate, already has spent weeks examining the budget on the Senate Finance Committee. Dr. Deuell is also vice chair of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

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