• 83rd Texas Legislature

    TMA's 2013 Legislative Report Card

    Texas Legislature Delivers for Patients and Physicians. Most Wins in a Decade!

    Texas patients and their physicians won big at the state Capitol. We had more wins than in recent sessions across all issues affecting patient care, as outlined in TMA’s Healthy Vision 2020. In fact, nearly every TMA bill made it to the finish line, either intact or as an amendment. And every bill TMA wanted stopped was stopped.

    It was a triumphant legislative session for medicine. As credited to late U.S. House Speaker Tip O’Neill, “all politics is local,” and this year we did local better than ever. The keys to our success are the time and effort TMA members took to educate their legislators about issues affecting patient care. Texas legislators listened and delivered for their constituents. Bills unsuccessful in the past two, three, even five sessions moved this year, like no other. Read More

  • Latest Legislative News

    • Advocacy
      Home page for Healthy Vision 2020, Second Edition, the strategic roadmap for TMA's state and federal advocacy initiatives for the remainder of the decade.
    • Improve Health Care Coverage for Low-Income Texans
      The ACA created two coverage options for uninsured patients with incomes up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). One choice, which the U.S. Supreme Court made optional for states, was expanding Medicaid eligibility to 138 percent of FPL ($16,104 for an individual or $32,913 for a family of four in 2014). The other was the new health insurance marketplaces, where patients go to buy private insurance. Texas is one of 21 states that chose not to expand Medicaid eligibility in 2014. As a result, more than 1 million uninsured Texans, mostly low-income adults, are left in what’s called the “coverage gap,” which means they make too much money to qualify for Texas Medicaid but not enough to qualify for the marketplace premium tax credits. Few of these Texans have access to other affordable insurance options. Texas Medicaid eligibility for parents is about 20 percent of poverty — less than $4,000 per year.
    • Section 10: Protect and Promote a Fair Civil Justice System
      In our generation, Texas has taken no more important step to strengthen our health care delivery system than passing the 2003 medical liability reforms. The 2003 law swiftly ended an epidemic of lawsuit abuse, brought thousands of sorely needed new physicians to Texas, and encouraged the state’s shell-shocked physicians to return to caring for patients with high-risk diseases and injuries.
    • Progress Made So Far
      Thanks to the collective efforts of Texas’ state and federal legislators, state agency leaders, organized medicine, and public health advocates, we accomplished many of the recommendations in the first edition of TMA’s Healthy Vision 2020. Most of the results stem from actions of the Texas 2013 Legislature, while others are from federal laws and regulations.
    • Licensure Should Stay Intact
      What we really need are standardized processes for licensing similar to medical, dental, and nursing boards for ALL health care providers. Otherwise the burden of proof falls on facilities which employ or contract with these providers and many of those facilities do not have the infrastructure to carry out such investigations.
    • Dr. Monday to Lawmakers: Protect the Safety of Student Athletes
      We concur with sunset staff recommendations regarding steroid testing. TMA supports science and evidence-based testing and recommends a full review of current testing programs, such as the steroid testing initiative. The review should assess cost-benefit and scientific value as well as the depth of illegal steroid use in Texas athletes.
    • TMA Asks Lawmakers to Protect Health Care Funding for Low-Income Women
      After the severe cuts to women’s preventative care in 2011, repairing the women’s health safety net will take resources and time. While the investments made in the Texas Women’s Health Program in 2013 increased the number of women served, tens of thousands of low-income Texas women still lack access to care. The state must work to maintain or increase the funding for this valuable program to help rebuild the women’s health care safety net and ultimately save the state millions in Medicaid dollars.
    • TMA: Why Texas Needs a Stronger Public Health System
      TMA strongly encourages DSHS to promote communications with physicians on mental health prevention and public resources so physicians know of available referrals for their patients. This is a significant gap in the public health system.
    • Additional Funding for Preventive Services Saves Lives and Money
      TMA supports DSHS’ goal to “move health forward” with adult immunizations, preventive maternal and perinatal health outcomes, and preventive health care for women including reproductive health, and chronic disease prevention. TMA believes we must invest in Texas’ public health infrastructure as it relates to these costly issues to prevent paying an even higher price tag in the future.