The 81st Texas Legislature proved to be one of the stranger sessions in recent history. The cover story in the August issue of Texas Medicine takes a look at how the Texas House got off to a slow start when representatives ousted incumbent Speaker Tom Craddick and chose new leadership. The Senate also nearly melted down at the beginning of the session because of a rules fight over the controversial voter ID bill. And in the waning days of the session, work in the House ground virtually to a halt as opponents of that very same voter ID bill used stalling tactics that ended up killing hundreds of other pieces of legislation.
Still, Texas Medical Association won some tremendous victories. Included among those were bills to require insurance companies to use valid and accurate data when ranking physicians, boost funding for graduate medical education, greatly expand the state’s physician education loan repayment program, and more.
In this installment of Podcast TMA, Dan McCoy, MD, chair of TMA’s Council on Legislation, and TMA Board of Trustees member Lewis Foxhall, MD, who chaired a TMA Ad Hoc Committee on Health Insurance Reform, discuss what TMA accomplished this session and those things that most likely will resurface in the 2011 legislative session.
(Editor's note: We apologize for the sound quality of parts of this show. Dr. McCoy participated in the discussion via his mobile phone. But we decided what he had to say more than made up for the quality of the reproduction.)
This installment covers:
- The impact the legislative environment had on TMA’s advocacy efforts.
- TMA’s major legislative victories on health insurance reform, defending tort reform, maintaining the ban on the corporate practice of medicine, and more.
- The importance of defeating trial lawyer efforts to water down the 2003 medical liability reforms.
- Where the debate on direct employment of physicians by hospitals is likely headed in the interim before the next session.
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