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Monday, January 12, 2015

TEXAS LEGISLATURE CONVENES TOMORROW; HERE'S OUR HEALTHY VISION


The 84th Texas Legislature begins its 140-day regular session in Austin tomorrow with a new lieutenant governor (Dan Patrick) and a new governor (Greg Abbott) waiting to be inaugurated next week, and a host of new senators and representatives. From the opening gavel at noon on Tuesday through sine die on June 1, TMA will be your very active voice at the Texas Capitol. The second edition of TMA’s Healthy Vision 2020 lays out our agenda for the session. As TMA President Austin King, MD, says, “Our government must make it easier — not more difficult — for us to care for our patients.” Here are our top 10 recommendations:
  1. Increase funding for graduate medical education.
  2. Improve physicians’ Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program payments to more appropriately reflect the services they provide to patients.
  3. Hold health insurance companies accountable for creating and promoting adequate physician networks.
  4. Devise and enact a system for providing health care to low-income Texans that improves efficiencies by reducing bureaucracy and paperwork.
  5. Stop any efforts to expand scope of practice beyond that safely permitted by nonphysician practitioners’ education, training, and skills.
  6. Promote government efficiency and accountability by reducing Medicaid red tape.
  7. Protect physicians’ ability to charge for their services.
  8. Improve the state’s public health defense to better respond in a crisis.
  9. Preserve Texas’ landmark medical liability reforms.
  10. Protect the patient-physician relationship from corporate intrusions. 

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