Texas Health Freedom ALERT – A Bold New Strategy for Texas Health Freedom – YOU Can Help!

Colleagues and Friends of Texas Health Freedom,
As most of you already know, since its founding in late 2006, the Texas Health Freedom Coalition has worked tirelessly on your behalf to protect and advance health care freedom of choice in Texas.

In each of the last four legislative sessions (2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013) we have advocated for bills that would advance our collective goals, as well as opposed legislation which would hand even more power over to moneyed special interests, primarily the existing health care professional trade unions, gatekeepers of the status quo.

Despite our best efforts, during those sessions we were unable to enact the type of legislation that has proven itself successful in other states. In fact, we were told unequivocally by key legislators that that type of bill would never be enacted into law in Texas. So we have had to fundamentally rethink our entire approach.

Fortunately, we have had help in this process from some influential allies. Our friends at GovBiz Partners, a prominent Austin-based lobbying group, in concert with other allied health care professional groups, the Texas Association of Businesses, the Texas Public Policy Foundation, and key Texas legislators, have come up with a bold new strategy to enact lasting health freedom of choice in Texas.

You see, the one weakness in simply passing legislation is that there is no guarantee that a well-funded special interest group won’t come back the next legislative session and attempt to undo all the good that our bill sought to create. That kind of bill is simply not durable, and requires us to stay forever on our guard after its passage.

After talking with our allies, we have decided to pursue an amendment to the Texas constitution to guarantee our fellow Texans their right of access to the health care treatment of their choice. At the same time, we will amend the overly broad medical practice laws so that they apply only to licensed medical doctors.

Ambitious? Yes! But if we are to finally roll back the undue, money-driven influence of the established health care trade unions, we must enact a durable solution, and quickly.

How will we go about that? As a first step, we have committed to raise a minimum of $250,000 by summer’s end to fund our efforts. We will raise this money in two important ways:

1.Donations from like-minded business or wealthy individual donors.

If you look up at the right of our home page, you will see an expression of thanks to Orthomolecular Products, a natural products manufacturer which has donated $5,000 to the THFC, and has pledged another $5,000 if their donation is matched. You can help by asking your contacts within the natural products community, or wealthy individual donors (such as big MLM money earners), to match Orthomolecular’s generosity with either a $5,000 or $10,000 donation. Anyone who does so will have their names added to Orthomolecular’s on our web site, and a thank you message on their behalf sent to our entire list.

2.Individual donors like yourself.

At the lower right of our home page, you can see a PayPal link to the THFC account. You can donate any amount you are comfortable with on this link. If your personal donation is $1,000 or more, your name will be added to the individual donors’ list on our home page.

All monies donated will be used solely to support our legislative lobbying efforts. Please note: because we are a 501(c)(4) (i.e., lobbying) non-profit, this is not a tax-deductible donation. (And yes, we have obtained competent legal advice that this is the only way for us to raise money for this cause and not get dinged by the IRS!)

Please join us in this bold, innovative effort to take back the most fundamental right we have: the right to bodily integrity, to decide for ourselves how we care for our bodies, and what we put into them. With your help, and the help of a rapidly growing army of supporters, we will not fail!

Thanks for your support of Texas Health Freedom,

Your Coalition Executive Committee

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2013 Review

83rd Regular Session of the Texas Legislature Adjourns – Analysis

The 83rd regular session of the Texas Legislature adjourned on May 27th, 2013. An additional 30 day session was convened by the Governor. According to the Texas constitution, only those specific issues which the Governor wants addressed can be considered during this special session. None of these issues have to do with our interests.
The results of the 83rd regular legislative session can best be described as mixed. On the positive side, only two bills, SB 460 and HB 3793, were passed that posed a threat to health freedom (these two bills were addressed in our last health freedom alert). No scope of practice legislation was even filed by any special interest group.
The latter can be attributed largely to the current fiscal environment, i.e., the members of the legislature on both sides of the aisle recognize that any bill which creates a new fiscal obligation for the state will not pass, so there’s no use in even filing it.
However, in the specific case of bills of interest to us, over the last several legislative sessions we have created a very effective network of relationships among key members of the legislature. These members recognize that any bill which restricts our freedom of choice will result in massive opposition by us, so they avoid that by discouraging the filing of restrictive scope of practice legislation. That is a tribute to your ongoing involvement with and interest in protecting your health freedom. Please give yourself a well deserved pat on the back for staying engaged.
Also, thanks to the effort and support of our friend Rep. David Simpson, we were able to get House Joint Resolution (HJR) 125, our proposed health freedom constitutional amendment, filed. Many thanks to Rep. Simpson for agreeing to author HJR 125. It is an important first step in our two pronged effort to put into place a truly durable protection of our right to choose the health care treatment of our choice.
Why do we characterize this effort as “two pronged”? We have extensively studied the health freedom legislative efforts in other states. Although several groups in those states have succeeded in getting health freedom legislation passed, the common denominator is there is nothing to preclude an economically motivated special interest group from coming in the very next legislative session and trying to undo those efforts. Without a truly durable solution, one which precludes such groups from even filing such a bill, we must always be on alert.
The most effective way of implementing such a strategy is to pass both a constitutional amendment guaranteeing our access to all available health care remedies and therapies, and so-called “implementing legislation,” which modifies existing health care law to comply with the constitutional amendment. Due to the constraints of time, we were only able to file the constitutional amendment this session. It is our intention to file both pieces of legislation next session.
This brings up an equally important point: the only way in which we will successfully implement this, or any other, strategy is to procure the services of a proven effective lobbyist. And that can only occur if we raise the money to pay them. Our Coalition is incorporated as a 501(c)(4) non-profit lobbying organization. Donations are not tax deductible.
But think about it for a minute: what would happen if your right of access to (or, if you are a practitioner, your right to practice) the health care treatment of your choice were taken away? Is it worth $10 a month to protect that right? Is it worth spreading this message to your family and friends? Only you can decide, and that decision will have a powerful effect on our efforts going forward.
If we can’t raise the money to fund lobbying support, then by default we can only play defense. While that will certainly allow us to protect ourselves against restrictive scope of practice bills, it does nothing to change the status quo. Do we really want to continue that status quo, which includes the Texas Medical Board filing over 2,300 letters of complaint against unlicensed practitioners annually? Only you, by your action, can decide.

Thanks for your support of Texas Health Freedom,

The Executive Committee
Texas Health Freedom Coalition

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APOLOGIZE SENATOR SCHWERTNER.pdf

Click the link below to open fax message to Senator Schwertner

APOLOGIZE SENATOR SCHWERTNER

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