Texas Physicians Oppose New Healthcare Law

A new survey of Texas doctors shows an overwhelming majority of them are disappointed in the new federal healthcare reforms. The survey shows they're worried the new law won't lower costs or improve care. Laurie Johnson reports.
More than 1,200 Texas physicians, residents and medical students responded to the survey, which was sponsored by the Texas Medical Association.

Overall, 78 percent of the respondents have an unfavorable opinion of the reform bill, saying they are disappointed, anxious, confused and angry about the law. TMA President Dr. Elizabeth Bailey says the more physicians learn about the law, the less they like it.

"There is not a solution for the broken Medicare payment formula, which we think was the biggest problem going into health reform and have been trying to get Congress to fix for ten years. So there are things that aren't in the bill at all, like tort reform, Medicare payment reform that we think will jeopardize its success regardless of how the rules get written."

The TMA, an active lobbying organization, opposes the Senate version of the healthcare bill that passed earlier this year. Bailey says if doctors aren't reimbursed for participating in Medicare, they're going to drop out.

"We have been working with Congress for a long time, trying to come up with revisions in the formula. Unfortunately, right now that's politically very unpopular because it's very difficult to come up with a solution that really helps physicians that doesn't add to the deficit."

Bailey calls finding a solution to Medicare funding the $64 billion dollar question. You can find a PDF of the physician survey results on the Texas Medical Association's website.

Laurie Johnson, KUHF News.
Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...