TMA “Deeply Troubled” by Health Reform Bill

For Immediate Release 
July 17, 2009 

Contact: Pam Udall
phone: (512) 370-1382 
cell: (512) 413-6807  

Brent Annear
phone: (512) 370-1381 
cell: (512) 656-7320  

 Texas Medical Association (TMA) statement from TMA president William H. Fleming III, MD, regarding H.R. 3200, "America's Affordable Health Care Choices Act of 2009," Congressional legislation to reform America's health care system.   

"As physicians, our primary goal is to improve the health of our patients. We believe that patients and their physicians must be free to make choices that best fit their individual health care needs. This legislation severely limits those choices.

"Therefore, TMA cannot support a proposal to create another government-payer health plan while existing government-payer plans, such Medicare, Medicaid, and the military health care program, TRICARE, are failing patients. We are deeply troubled there is no fix to the flawed Medicare funding formula, which limits seniors' ability to see a doctor when they need to; and the absence of medical liability reforms, which provide greater access to care to Texas patients. We remain extremely concerned that the 'public option' will soon become the controlling payer in all health care, resulting in an unworkable government price-setting scheme like we now see in Medicare. TMA physicians also are concerned that this plan limits at which hospitals patients can receive care.

"TMA physicians will continue to review and analyze H.R. 3200, and pledge to work with Congressional leaders and the Obama administration in crafting legislation that truly would improve health care ― the patient-physician relationship ― in the United States and Texas. As physicians, it is our ethical duty to provide leadership on these public policy decisions."

TMA is the largest state medical society in the nation, representing nearly 44,000 physician and medical student members. It is located in Austin and has 120 component county medical societies around the state. TMA's key objective since 1853 is to improve the health of all Texans.

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Click here to see TMA's letter to the Texas congressional delegation.