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Home   Hot Topics   Governmental Affairs   Practice Management   Membership   Legal Information Jan. 13, 2011
TMA Weekly Headlines

Budget to put Texan self-sufficiency to the test
The Associated Press via The Austin American-Statesman, Jan. 11, 2011    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There is one enduring political value in Texas: The state does not mollycoddle. In the best of times, it spends as little as possible providing aid to the unemployed, the sick and the injured. Texans have consistently elected lawmakers who will add to the public safety net only when threatened with a federal lawsuit. Now that the state must overcome a $15 billion budget shortfall, life for those who rely on the state for employment or support is likely to get even tougher. More

Vaccine's link to autism is discredited again with finding of fraud in research
The Washington Post, Jan. 11, 2011    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The research that launched an enduring but apparently erroneous belief that autism is caused by a common childhood vaccination has been debunked, disclaimed — and now debunked again. Last February, the Lancet retracted a study it published in 1998 in which British researcher Andrew Wakefield suggested that the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine triggered autism. Last week, that stance was reinforced by the publication in the journal BMJ of an analysis that finds Wakefield's research was a fraud. More

Vaccine study's author held related patent, medical journal reports
CNN, Jan. 12, 2011    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The author of a now-retracted study linking autism to childhood vaccines expected a related medical test to rack up sales of up to $43 million a year, a British medical journal has reported. The report in the medical journal BMJ is the second in a series sharply critical of Dr. Andrew Wakefield, who reported the link in 1998. It follows the journal's declaration last week that the 1998 paper in which Wakefield first suggested a connection between autism and the measles, mumps and rubella, or MMR, vaccine was an "elaborate fraud." More

El Paso pulls out of MHMR agreement
KVIA-TV, Jan. 11, 2011    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
El Paso city council refused to budge in its decision to back out of its joint agreement to govern the Mental Health and Mental Retardation Center. "I am indeed disappointed," newly elected County Judge Veronica Escboar said. "But I'm not surprised. Maybe I'm the aggressive groom and the city is the reluctant bride. I think this marriage is important." Mayor John Cook said the relationship isn't over, it's just changed. More

Gov. Perry appoints 11 to the Pharmaceutical and Therapeutics Committee
The State Column, Jan. 11, 2011    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Gov. Rick Perry has appointed eleven members to the Pharmaceutical and Therapeutics Committee for terms to expire Sept. 1, 2011. The committee makes recommendations about the contents of preferred drug lists. More

Blue Cross, THR deal ends threat of insurance problems
Cleburne Times-Review, Jan. 11, 2011    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
How close did Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas and Texas Health Resources come to a standoff that would have negatively impacted thousands of patients in Johnson County beginning Jan. 1? Exactly two weeks. Then, almost simultaneously, both sides blinked and finalized a deal. More

Resurgent GOP charts rightward course as Texas Legislature begins
Dallas Morning News, Jan. 12, 2011    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Legislature began its work Tuesday with a decidedly Republican look and signs of a rightward lurch. With a slew of newcomers, the GOP has enhanced clout. Influenced by the tea party and an overwhelming House majority, Republicans are poised to cut the budget deeply and push for long-stalled measures on voter identification, immigration, abortion and property rights. More

Medical 'best practice' often no more than opinion
Reuters, Jan. 10, 2011    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Even when following medical guidelines to the letter, doctors often use treatments that have little or no scientific support, U.S. researchers said. They found only 1 in 7 treatment recommendations from the Infectious Diseases Society of America — a society representing health care providers and researchers across the country — were based on high-quality data from clinical trials. More

Texas abortion rate still dropping
Houston Chronicle, Jan. 11, 2011    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas' abortion rate continues to drop slowly and steadily, according to a new report, even as the national rate appears to be levelling off. The Guttmacher Institute report found 16.5 abortions per 1,000 women 15 to 44 in Texas in 2008, a decrease of 4 percent from the 17.3 abortions per 1,000 women in the state in 2005. Nationally, the rate increased 1 percent during the same time period. More

Report shows some state Medicaid improvements
Texas Tribune, Jan. 11, 2011    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Despite state budget and recession woes, Medicaid programs across the country maintained eligibility practices and increased enrollment in 2010, according to a recent report by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute. Thirteen states expanded Medicaid or CHIP eligibility last year, and 14 states made improvements in enrollment and renewal procedures. Texas didn't fall into either of these categories, but the state held steady in 2010. More

The articles in The Texas Medical Association Weekly Headlines are chosen from a variety of sources, Texas and national, to reflect media coverage of the medical profession and health care issues. Publication of any article does not imply that TMA has endorsed or supports its contents.

US Chamber of Commerce signals low-key approach to health repeal
Politico, Jan. 11, 2011    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue said that his organization supports Republican legislation in the House to repeal President Barack Obama's health care reform law but signaled that the powerful business lobby won't employ the same scorched-earth tactics it used last year to try to kill reform. More

US Supreme Court upholds IRS tax on medical residents
The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 11, 2011    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld an Internal Revenue Service requirement that medical residents pay Social Security taxes. The ruling would appear to settle a long fight between the IRS and teaching hospitals including Mayo Clinic, and deprives the hospitals of millions they had hoped not to have to pay the government in the future. Full-time students are generally exempt from Social Security taxes, but law clerks and tradesman apprentices are not. More
TMA Weekly Headlines
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601   Download media kit
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