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TMA Weighs In on Bills to Ban Vaccine Mandates - 10/18/2021

Taking science-based interventions like vaccinations off the table during an ongoing public emergency is like telling coastal residents they can’t board up their windows or fill sandbags as a hurricane approaches.


Physician-Led Results: Grassroots Advocacy Paid Off in Tangible Wins at the Capitol - 10/13/2021

Texas physicians made the most of an extraordinary, scaled-back session of the Texas Legislature in 2021. They helped pass laws to curb prior authorization hassles; keep physicians from incurring new practice costs; install liability protections for future pandemics like COVID-19; extend postpartum Medicaid coverage for new mothers; and keep graduate medical education (GME) fully funded. And so much more.


TMA Makes Its Case on “Starting Point” COVID Relief Bill - 10/05/2021

A bill to distribute nearly $17 billion in COVID-19 relief funds – medicine’s focal point during the current special session of the Texas Legislature – drew both praise and recommendations for improvement from the Texas Medical Association and several state specialty societies.


TMA Urges House Committee to Bolster Border Care Access - 10/05/2021

With 30 years of experience practicing primary care medicine in the Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg internist and Texas Medical Association President E. Linda Villarreal, MD, has unique insight into the region’s health care needs and how state lawmakers can build on previous legislation to address them.


Funding the Future: Texas Legislature Fully Commits to GME - 10/02/2021

The Texas Legislature’s investment in medical education includes a full commitment to GME.


TMA: Use Rescue Act Funds for Long-COVID Research, Improved Access to Care - 09/24/2021

Following its second letter to key state lawmakers about the best uses for one-time federal COVID-19 relief funding, the House of Medicine has established a broad vision for how that money could help Texas patients and physicians.


TMA White Paper: How to Prohibit Handguns on Private Property - 09/21/2021

Texas’ public handgun-carrying policies – and the rights of certain businesses and private property owners to prohibit the carrying of handguns – have garnered a great deal of legislative and media attention over the past several years, most recently with the Texas Legislature’s passage of permitless carry legislation earlier this year.


Take Three: COVID Relief Funds, Local Vaccine Mandates on Third Special Session Agenda - 09/19/2021

As anticipated, the Texas Legislature will return for a third 2021 special session – and fourth session overall this year – with federal COVID-19 relief funds on the agenda and the House of Medicine hoping to influence how lawmakers will allocate those funds.


TMA: Boost Tech With COVID-19 Relief Funds - 09/13/2021

With connectivity on its mind, the House of Medicine logged in to a dialogue with state leaders and inputted its first official suggestions about how to distribute $16 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funds.


Restrictions on School Masking Unlikely to Pass Legislature - 09/02/2021

As the final days of the Texas Legislature’s second special session dwindle, it appears certain that lawmakers will not advance any bills on masking requirements in schools. That’s good news for the Texas Medical Association, which has helped scuttle attempts to undercut local decisionmaking authority on masking.


TMA in the Thick of Legislature’s Masking Authority Talks - 09/01/2021

An eventful Monday evening in the Texas Legislature featured the near-certain death of a bill that would prohibit public schools from requiring masks – thanks to fervent Texas Medical Association advocacy.


GME Momentum: Preserving Texas' Steady Progress in Building Residency Positions - 08/27/2021

TMA fights state budget cuts to preserve Texas’ steady progress in building residency positions.


TMA Stands Ready for Second Special Session - 08/09/2021

As Gov. Greg Abbott promised last month, Democratic lawmakers’ decision to leave the state during this year’s special session of the Texas Legislature prompted the governor last week to call a second special session.


Leading in the Legislature: Physician Lawmakers Help Advance Medicine's Agenda - 08/02/2021

Physician lawmakers play a key role in advancing medicine's legislative agenda.


COVID-19 Relief Funds Could Bring Medicaid Pay Bump in Fall Special Session - 07/09/2021

A widely anticipated special session of the Texas Legislature is under way. But the Texas Medical Association has much of its energy focused on the next special session this fall, when the legislature is likely to tackle distribution of around $16 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funds.


Expanded Broadband Bill Passes Senate, Heads to the Governor - 07/08/2021

Welcome to the first day of the final month of the Texas Legislature’s 2021 session. Expect the flurry of hearings and legislative movement to swirl even faster this week as the House of Medicine and its like-minded lawmakers furiously push for progress ahead of the May 31 finish line.


Physician-Led Results: Steps Forward in Telemedicine - 07/08/2021

Coming into the 2021 session, the Texas Medical Association had hope that telemedicine’s success in allowing for remote care during the COVID-19 pandemic would prompt lawmakers to permanently relax many state policies restricting its use.


Physician-Led Results: Liability Protections for the Next Pandemic - 07/08/2021

Physicians inherently want to help people – that’s why they’re physicians. But as COVID-19 has shown, there may be no harder situation in which to help Texans than during the rigors and pressures of a pandemic.


TMA Shooting for Reinstatement of 1115 Waiver Extension - 07/08/2021

Facing a major setback for uncompensated care, the Texas Medical Association is taking the opportunity to think bigger and better.


Physician-Led Results: Medicine’s Advocacy Helps Kill Scope and Other Ill-Advised Bills - 07/01/2021

Once again, expertise prevailed in this year’s legislative session. So did good sense.


Governor Approves Bill to Reduce Prior Authorization Hassles - 06/30/2021

Care for countless Texas patients will happen more quickly by reducing health insurers’ bureaucratic delays, thanks to a bill Gov. Greg Abbott allowed to become law this weekend. The Texas Medical Association (TMA) prioritized curbing health insurers’ onerous prior authorization practices this legislative session, resulting in passage of House Bill 3459 by Rep. Greg Bonnen, MD (R-Friendswood), and Sen. Dawn Buckingham, MD (R-Lakeway), with considerable support by Sen. Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound).


Physician-Led Results: Vaping Permit Requirement Established, COVID-19 Response Mixed - 06/30/2021

Texas public health won a long-awaited victory by putting vaping products on the same regulatory footing as products made with tobacco.


Physician-Led Results: Lawmakers Invest in Texas’ Future Physicians - 06/29/2021

Going into the 2021 legislative session, Texas medical educators were understandably nervous. The economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic had thrown future growth of graduate medical education into doubt.


Health Coverage Extensions Will Help Mothers, Children - 06/28/2021

Women can access critical health care longer after delivering their babies, and more children will continue uninterrupted medical care, thanks to two new bills that will become Texas law. Gov. Greg Abbott recently signed Texas House Bill 133 and House Bill 2658, ensuring longer Medicaid health care coverage for these populations who are susceptible to health complications – even death – if that care is interrupted.


Physician-Led Results: TMA Advocacy Pays Off in Tangible Legislative Wins - 06/23/2021

Texas physicians made the most of a scaled-back session of the Texas Legislature in 2021. With fewer floor meetings, no in-person First Tuesdays at the Capitol lobbying events, and limited air time for agenda items, the House of Medicine needed its advocates to work harder than ever. Physicians needed initiative and drive to help get crucial legislation across the finish line – and help stop bad bills from becoming bad law. They did all that with gusto.