P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 23, 2003
GRAPEVINE - Senator Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, today discussed the major health care reforms recently approved by the Texas Legislature during a luncheon in her honor at HEB Harris Methodist Hospital. She will also speak to members of the Northeast Tarrant County Medical Society at 6:30 p.m. at Classic Cafe, 621 E Southlake Blvd. in Southlake.
"Despite our budgetary constraints, we saw enormous progress this session in making our health care system more patient-oriented," Senator Nelson said. "In recent years we have seen precious health care dollars being diverted to defend against medical lawsuits or to cut through the claims bureaucracy of HMOs. Those dollars should be spent on patient care, and we enacted several reforms to do that."
In addition to passing prompt pay legislation and medical liability reform, Senator Nelson played a key role in drafting the state health care budget as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee Workgroup on Health & Human Services Funding. She authored two successful budget riders: an equity provision to ensure that MHMR funding is distributed evenly across the state and a rider to increase the number of federally qualified health centers. The latter led to the distribution of $3.6 million in state grants.
During today's luncheon, it was announced that HEB Hospital would recognize Senator Nelson's efforts on behalf of Texas patients by making a donation to the Women's Shelter in her name. The Women's Shelter provides assistance to those affected by domestic violence, an issue Senator Nelson has championed in the Legislature.
"The Women's Shelter fulfills such an important role in our community, and I am extremely grateful to HEB Hospital for their generous donation. Health care workers are often the first people to see the signs of domestic abuse, and Harris Methodist has been very active in our fight against family violence," Senator Nelson said.
Senator Nelson is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services and represents District 12, which includes the growing communities of Tarrant and Denton counties and part of the city of Fort Worth.