Election results confirm strong position for family medicine in 83rd Texas Legislature

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Election results confirm strong position for family medicine in 83rd Texas Legislature

posted 11.09.12

In a little over two months, the gavel will drop in Austin and the 83rd Texas Legislature will get underway. The elections on Nov. 6 cast the actors and set the stage for what will certainly be a contentious session, but by electing three physicians to the House, three physicians to the Senate, along with a host of physician-friendly lawmakers, TAFP CEO Tom Banning said family medicine is well positioned to advocate for renewed investment in the state’s primary care infrastructure.

“Elections have consequences, and after an incredibly successful election cycle, those consequences should be very positive for family medicine in Texas,” Banning said.

The TAFP Political Action Committee played a more active role than usual in the November 2012 elections, endorsing candidates in all but a handful of state legislative races and recording victories in all of those endorsements.

“So much hangs in the balance for health care this session,” Banning said. “The budget will be tight again this time around, and with 2014 just around the corner, expansion of coverage in the private insurance market and in Medicaid with the implementation of federal health reform will further stress our fractured health care delivery system. Restoring cuts to programs designed to increase our primary care workforce has to be a priority.”

The three physicians elected to the House are Greg Bonnen, M.D., a neurosurgeon from Angleton; J.D. Sheffield, D.O., a family physician and TAFP member from Gatesville; and John Zerwas, M.D., an anesthesiologist from Simonton. The three physicians elected to the Senate are Donna Campbell, M.D., and ophthalmologist from New Braunfels; Robert Deuell, M.D., a family physician from Greenville; and Charles Schwertner, M.D., an orthopedic surgeon from Georgetown.

For a full list of TAFPPAC endorsements in the 2012 elections, go here: www.tafp.org/tafppac/candidates, and to learn how you can help advocate for family medicine in the 83rd Texas Legislature, go here: www.tafp.org/advocacy/get-involved.