(PLEASE FEEL FREE TO FORWARD THIS MESSAGE TO ALL INTERESTED TEXANS ON YOUR E-MAIL LIST)
Colleagues and Friends of Texas Health Freedom,
After consulting extensively with health care experts, key Texas legislators and their staffs, and health care policy experts from around the country, with your help we now have an extraordinary opportunity to take an important, new first step to permanently alter the health care landscape in Texas. This course of action is not being taken lightly, or without great forethought.
As most of you know, over the last three legislative sessions the Texas Health Freedom Coalition has exerted an enormous amount of effort to pass health freedom legislation in the form of a so-called “safe harbor” exemption bill in Texas. Our best opportunity was during the 2011 legislative session, when we had companion bills heard by both the House Public Health and Senate Health and Human Services Committees.
However, in each session the determined opposition of the Texas health care trade unions (i.e., the Texas Medical Association (recognized as the most powerful medical association in the country), the Texas Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the Texas Association of Massage Therapists) was enough to defeat the bills. As a result, after the 2011 legislative session we were told emphatically by influential legislators that this type of legislation would not pass in this state. Therefore, we embarked on a new strategy.
All of us recognize that the US health care system is a house of cards, inappropriately influenced by economic special interests and teetering precariously due to its enormous cost and marginal results. The challenge for agents of change like us is to identify which card to pull from the house’s base to allow meaningful change to take place.
The common denominator in each state is the overt and inappropriate influence of the health care trade unions, to the detriment of the unlicensed health care community. For example, here in Texas, there were over 1,500 complaints filed in 2012 with the Texas Medical Board (TMB) against (in the words of the TMB) “nonlicensed practitioners” for violations of the state medical practice laws. The combination of the overly broad scope of those laws (jealously protected by the Texas Medical Association), and the aggressive stance taken by the TMB, keeps the unlicensed health care community under constant threat and compromises the ability of our fellow Texans to access the health care treatment of their choice.
Were we to somehow negate the trade unions’ influence, we could achieve all the other objectives the health freedom movement seeks to achieve.
The leaders of the Texas Health Freedom Coalition believe it is unconstitutional for health care trade unions to use the legislative system to confer economic advantage on their members at the expense of others, thus depriving our fellow Texans access to the full range of health care choices. Therefore, we believe the remedy should be sought at the state constitutional level.
Accordingly, our friend Texas Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview) has just authored and filed House Joint Resolution (HJR) 125, an amendment to the Texas Constitution that, if enacted into law, would guarantee each Texan the individual right to access whatever health care treatment they choose, and would protect the rights of practitioners to offer those treatments and modalities.
The import of this bill cannot be understated. It places the mechanism of choice in health care back where it belongs, in the hands of the individual citizen.
For those who raise the warning flag of safety, we would point out that, currently, the most heavily licensed occupation in the country, physician, is directly or indirectly responsible for over three quarters of a million US deaths annually (see the research paper “Death by Medicine” in the Pages section to your left). The fact is, licensing does very little to “protect the public” (as its advocates inaccurately assert), but in fact primarily protects only the practitioner, from prosecution and litigation in the event of an adverse health event for the patient, and confers an unfair and undeserved monopoly on the trade unions.
How You Can Help
– Go to www.texashealthfreedom.com. On the left side of the page, find the “Who Represents Me?” section. Fill in your address info and click “Submit.”
– The first name under “Texas State Representative” (NOT Member of Congress!) is your state House member. Find her/his capitol office address. Then write her/him a short handwritten note (these are the most effective) that uses the following format:
“Rep. John Smith
PO Box XXX
Austin Texas, 78XXX
Dear Rep. Smith,
I am your constituent and I want you to vote “yes” to pass House Joint Resolution (HJR) 125. Texas citizens deserve to have their right of health care choice protected in our constitution.
Your address, city, state and zip code”
– If you are a registered voter, state “I am your constituent and a registered voter” in your note and include a copy of your current voter registration card with the note.
– After you mail your note, e-mail our Coalition at firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
– – Your name and (if you are a health care practitioner) your professional title.
– – The date you sent your note.
– – The state representative you sent it to.
– – Whether you are registered voter.
Time is short, so please complete your action by March 22nd. If your state representative requests them, we have both a point paper and white paper on HJR 125 available in .pdf format in the Pages section to your left. Please contact us via e-mail at email@example.com, or by phone at 210-372-0557, with questions or if you need additional support for your legislator contact.
Please take action today. Your help is urgently needed and greatly appreciated!
The Executive Committee of the Texas Health Freedom Coalition
Filed under: HJR125