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Monday, January 26, 2015

NEW LEADERS AND OUR HEALTHY VISION


Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick took their oaths of office today, the first time in more than a decade that Texas has had new top leaders. House Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio), who was easily reelected to his fourth term last week, provides a degree of continuity as the 2015 Texas Legislature begins its work. The second edition of TMA’s Healthy Vision 2020 lays out our agenda for the session. Here are our top 10 recommendations: Increase funding for graduate medical education; improve physicians’ Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program payments to more appropriately reflect the services they provide to patients; hold health insurance companies accountable for creating and promoting adequate physician networks; devise and enact a system for providing health care to low-income Texans that improves efficiencies by reducing bureaucracy and paperwork; stop any efforts to expand scope of practice beyond that safely permitted by nonphysician practitioners’ education, training, and skills; promote government efficiency and accountability by reducing Medicaid red tape; protect physicians’ ability to charge for their services; improve the state’s public health defense to better respond in a crisis; preserve Texas’ landmark medical liability reforms; and protect the patient-physician relationship from corporate and political intrusions.

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