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Monday, February 28, 2011

TMA'S PUBLIC HEALTH AGENDA SAVING MONEY, SAVING LIVES

The state’s public health budget got a lot of legislative scrutiny last week, and TMA was on hand to help shore it up. Philip Huang, MD, a family physician and the health authority and medical director for the Austin/Travis County Health and Human Services Department, testified on behalf of TMA before the House Public Health Committee. He explained that when public health is successful, it’s invisible because it prevents bad things from happening. He stressed the great job Texas did responding to the public health needs of hurricanes Katrina and Rita victims in 2005, and to the H1N1 crisis last year. Texas has made great advances in public health and needs to continue building a solid public health care system. Also last week, Corpus Christi anesthesiologist Mary Dale Peterson, MD, testified for TMA before the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Medicaid. She addressed how the proposed 10-percent cut to Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) payments would devastate the state’s ability to maintain an adequate Medicaid and CHIP physician network.

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