Texas Doctors Send 'To-Do' List to the 2019 Texas Legislature

by Morgan Montalvo

WOAI News

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. 

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