Several of medicine’s top-priority bills gained some traction in the Legislature last week. The Senate approved its $211.4 billion plan for the 2016-17 state budget, including $60 million to grow and improve graduate medical education in Texas. (See TMA’s budget priorities.) House Bill 1514 by Rep. J.D. Sheffield, DO (R-Gatesville), TMA’s bill to make it easier for physicians to identify patients who are receiving subsidies for coverage under Affordable Care Act exchange plans, won unanimous approval from the House Insurance Committee. The move to eliminate physicians’ annual $200 state occupation tax advanced when the House Appropriations Committee passed House Bill 7 by Rep. Drew Darby (R-San Angelo). Thanks to this week’s TMA witnesses:
- In the House Public Health Committee, Fort Worth pediatrician Gary Floyd, MD, testified on House Bill 2602 by Rep. Garnet Coleman (D-Houston), which revisits several of the Schedule II controlled substance delegation requirements from last session’s agreed-upon bill with nurse practitioners and physician assistants.
- Louise Bethea, MD, an allergist from The Woodlands, testified at the House Public Education Committee in support of House Bill 2847 by Rep. Myra Crownover (R-Denton), which requires schools to stock epinephrine auto-injectors for school staff to use on any student who suffers an anaphylactic reaction at school.