May 2012

My Fellow Texans:

When it comes to planning the health care system of the future, our state is like a nearsighted man without glasses. He can see what’s in front of him with relative clarity. By squinting, he can make out a somewhat hazy image of the middle distances. Beyond that, it’s really, really blurry.

As this report explains, we desperately need an unobstructed, clear view of the future of health care in Texas. Our growing population, beset by expensive acute and chronic diseases, doesn’t have enough physicians to care for them now, let alone in the future. The legislature’s view of the massive state Medicaid budget rarely extends beyond what it takes to balance this year’s budget, let alone the next. Many physicians wish they could just shut their eyes to the deluge of new laws, rules, and regulations that keeps coming between them and their patients. But we cannot, even though the only thing certain is the coming uncertainty.

With Healthy Vision 2020, we bring into focus a clear and distinct view of the rest of this decade in Texas health care. We offer a sharp perception of what lies ahead and what we must change to keep us all healthy. Our vision for the future protects the patient-physician relationship and ensures highquality, efficiently delivered care for our patients.

On behalf of the 46,000 physician and medical student members of the Texas Medical Association, I offer you our prescription, our clear vision, for the future.

Please take as directed.



Michael E. Speer, MD
Texas Medical Association

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