May 3, 2010

Bitter Budget Ahead - Podcast TMA

Texas' next legislative session might prove to be more bitter than sweet. The state will confront a potential budget deficit of at least $11 billion next January. Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, and House Speaker Joe Straus have asked all state agencies to reduce their current budgets by up to 5 percent to cover the monetary shortfall. The funding reduction proposal for the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) slashes about $100 million in state general revenue funds to the department.

This installment of Podcast TMA features commentary from Jeffrey Levin, MD, chair of the Texas Medical Association Council on Public Health, and Vince Fonseca, MD, MPH, former state epidemiologist, on the long-term effect reductions in public health funding could have on the state's residents. The cover story of the May 2010 issue of Texas Medicine magazine delves into the DSHS budget-cut proposal and examines the state's current public health funding levels.

This installment covers:

  • Proposed reductions in Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Plan physicians' payments;
  • Money-generating alternatives; and
  • Reasons public health funding is particularly vulnerable during economic downturns.

Please note that unless stated otherwise, the opinions expressed in this podcast are the individual physicians' and not the official position of the Texas Medical Association.

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