TMA Testifies on a Flurry of Public Health, Insurance Bills
By Emma Freer

As of the March 10 bill filing deadline, state lawmakers had introduced more than 9,000 pieces of legislation, establishing a new record and teeing up the Texas Medical Association’s busiest session yet.  

TMA is tracking thousands of those bills, several of which recently moved on to House and Senate committee hearings and could have significant implications for health care policy in Texas. 

On the public health front: 

  • TMA testified in support of House Bill 18 by Rep. Shelby Slawson (R-Stephenville), which could help protect children from social media’s ills. 
  • TMA submitted written comments in opposition to House Bill 44 by Rep. Valoree Swanson (R-Spring), which would bar physicians from participating in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, if they discriminate against patients based on immunization status. 
  • TMA also submitted written comments on House Bill 1313 by Rep. Dustin Burrows (R-Lubbock) and its companion, Senate Bill 403 by Sen. Drew Springer Jr. (R-Muenster), which would direct the state to study the side effects and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines. 
  • TMA testified in opposition to Senate Bill 29 by Rep. Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury), which would limit government action against pandemic spikes. 
  • TMA also testified in opposition to Senate Bill 1024 by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst (R-Brenham), which would limit public health protections against infectious diseases.  

TMA is closely tracking a series of insurance bills as they wind their way through the legislative process: 

  • TMA backed House Bill 109 by Rep. Julie Johnson (D-Farmers Branch), would expand health plan coverage of hearing aids. 
  • TMA testified in staunch opposition to House Bill 633 by Rep. James Frank (R-Wichita Falls), which would cap physician payments at the lowest contracted rate for many services, amplifying health plans’ already-considerable market power. 
  • TMA testified in support of House Bill 1236 by Rep. Tom Oliverson, MD (R-Cypress), which would strengthen the prudent layperson standard in emergency care. 

Find all the latest testimonies on TMA’s website, and continue to read Texas Medicine Today for updates.  

Last Updated On

March 24, 2023

Originally Published On

March 24, 2023

Related Content

Texas legislation | Vaccines

Emma Freer


(512) 370-1383

Emma Freer is a reporter for Texas Medicine. She previously worked in local news, covering city politics, economic development, and public health. A native Clevelander, she graduated from Columbia Journalism School and the University of St. Andrews.

More stories by Emma Freer