by Morgan Montalvo
Texas physicians have prepared a legislative prescription for better statewide health care delivery as lawmakers this week convene the 2019 Legislative Session, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Their list of recommendations is short, but focused, says Texas Medical Association President Dr. Doug Curran of Athens and includes streamlining Medicare and Medicaid programs administration, along with funding treatment for the state’s fast-growing numbers of uninsured patients.
“Also, I think we’re going to be very concerned about graduate medical education. Our state is growing at this enormous rate and if we don’t continue to produce doctors, we’re going to be in trouble,” says Curran.
“It costs the state a lot of money to educate a young person to be a physician, and we want them to stay in the state, do their residency program here, and then practice medicine here in the state," he says.
Curran says Texas doctors also will be keeping a close eye on what the Texas House and Senate propose to deal with growing problems that include opioid abuse, diabetes, and obesity. Fortunately, he says, public resistance to immunization has waned, although some Texas parents remain way of the requirement.
Curran says while lawmakers tackle health care issues at the state level, Texans can do their part to improve the overall health picture by adopting or continuing healthy living practices that pay dividends via fewer doctor and hospital visits.
How to fund health care in a state with a ballooning population, he says, will require lawmakers to employ some financial wizardry, from chasing federal dollars to identifying, or establishing new, in-state revenue sources.
“I think they’re coming with an open mind, realizing that you don’t get anything for nothing,” Curran says, “so we’re going to have figure out how can we fund these things, how can we generate income in such a way that we can take care of our people.”
Lawmakers convene Tuesday for the start of the 86th Legislature, which runs from Jan 8-May27.