May 22, 2013

TMA Reaffirms Medicaid Reform Stance

The Texas Medical Association House of Delegates adopted the Board of Trustees' position statement on expanded health care coverage and Medicaid reform, and added a provision calling for equality in Medicaid and Medicare fees during its May 17-18 meeting in San Antonio.

Earlier this year, trustees said political leaders in Washington and Austin must immediately develop a bipartisan solution to reform the state's Medicaid program and expand coverage for low-income adults.

TMA leaders called on state leaders and lawmakers to "look beyond the federal government expansion solution and design a solution that works for Texas and for Texans."

TMA officials emphasized that the association is seeking expansion of coverage for poor adults that is nottraditional Medicaid. The state, they say, has the ability to work with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on a proposal that:

  • Has patient copays and deductibles,
  • Allows the state to develop a benefit package that makes sense for this patient population, and
  • Allows the state to drop out of the program if conditions change.

TMA calls on Texans to use their ingenuity to "devise a comprehensive solution that:

  1. Draws down all available federal dollars to expand access to health care for poor Texans;
  2. Gives Texas the flexibility to change the plan as our needs and circumstances change;
  3. Clears away Medicaid's financial, administrative, and regulatory hurdles that are driving up costs and driving Texas physicians away from the program; and
  4. Relieves local Texas taxpayers from the unfair and unnecessary burden of paying the entire cost of caring for their uninsured neighbors."

During their debate, delegates voted to add additional points to TMA's position. They call for a system that "provides Medicaid payments directly to physicians for patient care equal to at least those of Medicare payments" and that continues to "uphold and improve due process of law for physicians in the State of Texas as it relates to the Office of Inspector General."

The house also voted against a resolution urging TMA to oppose Medicaid expansion, and against another resolution asking TMA to support repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

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