Jan 10, 2008

Podcast TMA: Health Care and the 2008 Presidential Elections

This installment of Podcast TMA was recorded in the short lull right after the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primaries. The 2008 presidential candidates are on the run in South Carolina, Michigan, Florida, and Nevada. Texas’ March 4 primaries are nearly two months off – don’t forget to register to vote, the deadline is Feb. 4 – and it looks like the Lone Star State still might play a roll in deciding both parties’ nominees.

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With that in mind, Podcast TMA cornered nearly a dozen TMA leaders at the TEXPAC Grassroots Forum in San Antonio on Jan. 5. We asked them two questions:

  • What should medicine be looking for in the health care platforms of the 2008 candidates for president of the United States?
  • Have you identified a candidate that you will support? Why or why not?

The big issues, as they always are, boil down to access to health care, cost of care, and quality of care. Can we find a candidate who will back Medicare reform? Insurance reform? Without moving us to a single-payer system? The leaders interviewed include:

  • TMA President William W. Hinchey, MD, of San Antonio
  • Jerry Hunsaker, MD, an ophthalmologist from Corpus Christ
  • Art Klawitter, MD, a family medicine specialist from Needville
  • Catherine Scholl, MD, an anesthesiologist from Austin
  • Carlos Cardenas, MD, a gastroenterologist from McAllen
  • Travis Bias, a fourth-year medical student from Austin
  • TMA Alliance President Mia Price of Denton
  • William Bradley, MD, a neurologist from Mansfield
  • Doug Curran, MD, a family medicine specialist from Athens
  • Melissa Garretson, MD, a pediatric emergency medicine specialist from Fort Worth
  • John Gill, MD, an orthopedic surgeon from Dallas.

This installment’s “Political Action Works” segment features the only TMA member in the U.S. Congress, Rep. Michael Burgess, MD (R-Lewisville). Recorded live at a standing-room-only session at the TEXPAC forum, Dr. Burgess shares his thoughts on health care issues in the 2008 national elections and offers an interesting perspective on the varying effectiveness of the carrot and the stick.

What are the candidates saying about health care issues?

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