CHICAGO - From improving access to care for veterans to helping young physicians manage their mountains of student debt, Texas physicians, residents, and medical students lent their voices to important issues at the American Medical Association House of Delegates.
In the wake of the revelations of long delays in health care at Veterans Affairs (VA), the Texas and Florida delegations to the house asked AMA to push President Obama for immediate action. In an emergency resolution that was cleared Sunday for debate at the AMA meeting, Texas and Florida asked that AMA “publicly insist (by June 12, 2014) that the President of the United States take immediate action to provide full health coverage financial benefits to ensure that United States veterans can rapidly access the medical care they need outside the VA until the VA can provide promised care.” Texas delegation Vice Chair Asa Lockhart, MD, of Tyler; Irag War veteran Ray Callas, MD, of Beaumont; and Col. Ed Ortega Jr., MD, of San Antonio testified for the resolution Sunday at reference committee.
Many other issues brought the Texans to the microphone, while their colleagues closely studied the reports and resolutions at hand.
- Delegation chair David Henkes, MD, of San Antonio, testified for a Texas resolution asking AMA to seek changes in a federal law that is imposing new paperwork burdens on private pathology labs.
- Medical student David Savage of Houston rose to support a call for the AMA to investigate ways to work with private lending institutions to find lower interest rates on the big student loan debt that most graduating physicians carry today.
- Medical student Rachel Solnick spoke on a public safety issue.
- Art Klawitter, MD, of Needville, listened to hours of testimony as a member of the Reference Committee on Amendments to AMA Constitution and Bylaws.