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Monday, March 3, 2014

PA-Political Action Committees

Physician Assistant-Political Action Committees 

Whether you're involved in politics or not, PACs (Political Action Committees) rally the votes necessary for legislators passing health care and insurance laws critical to patients and the PA profession. TAPA PAC (Texas Academy of Physician Assistants Political Action Committee) is one such example. Political action committees usually have a party affiliation, for example, TAPA is a republican PAC. As such, their e-mails and their donations will support republican candidates in favor of PA legislation. Just make sure to make your own judgement before you decide to donate time or resources to committees like this.

Regardless of your party affiliation, you should know there are 4 important committees with jurisdiction over our patients and the PA practice you should probably be aware of:
  1. Senate Health and Human Services Committee (oversees health care policy)
    1. District 2
      1. Bob Deuell (R - Greenville)*
      2. Bob Hall (R- Canton)
      3. Mark Thompson (R- Mesquite)
      4. Don Bates (L)
    2. District 17 (Houston)
      1. Joan Huffman (R)*
      2. Derek Anthony (R)
      3. Rita Lucido (D)
      4. George Hardy (L)
    3. District 12 - Jane Nelson (R)
    4. District 3 (East Texas - Anderson, Angelina, Cherokee, etc)
      1. Robert Nichols (R)
      2. Tyler Lindsay (L)
    5. District 4 (Harris, Jefferson, Montgomery)
      1. Charles Schwertner (R)
      2. Joel Shapiro (D)
      3. Matthew Whittington (L)
    6. District 11 - Larry Taylor (R - Galveston)
    7. District 19 - Carlos Uresti (D - West Texas Counties)
    8. District 23 (Dallas)
      1. Royce West (D)
      2. John Lawson (R)
    9. District 21 - Judith Zaffirini (D - Southwest Texas Counties)
  2. Senate Finance Committee (oversees Medicaid funding/rates)
    1. District 4
      1. Gordy Bunch (R)
    2. District 2
      1. Bob Deuell (R - Greenville)*
      2. Bob Hall (R- Canton)
      3. Mark Thompson (R- Mesquite)
      4. Don Bates (L)
    3. District 28 - Robert Duncan (R)
    4. District 1 - Kevin Eltife (R)
    5. District 30 - Craig Estes (R)
    6. District 17 (Houston)
      1. Joan Huffman (R)*
      2. Derek Anthony (R)
      3. Rita Lucido (D)
      4. George Hardy (L)
    7. District 12 - Jane Nelson (R)
    8. District 31
      1. Kel Seliger (R)
      2. Mike Canon (R)
      3. Steven Gibson (L)
    9. District 20 - Juan Hinojosa (D)
    10. District 27 - Eddie Lucio (D)
    11. District 23 (Dallas)
      1. Royce West (D)
      2. John Lawson (R)
    12. District 15
      1. John Whitmire (D)
      2. Damian LaCroix (D)
      3. Ron Hale (R)
    13. District 21 - Judith Zaffirini (D)
  3. House Public Health Committee (oversees health care policy)
    1. District 49 - Elliot Naishtat (D)
    2. District 147 - Garnet Coleman (D)
    3. District 95 - Nicole Collier (D)
    4. District 117 - Philip Cortez (D)
    5. District 41 - Robert Guerra (D)
    6. District 13 - Lois Kolkhorst (R)
    7. District 134 - Sarah Davis (R-Houston)*
    8. District 71 - Susan King (R-Abilene)*
    9. District 89 - Jodie Laubenberg
    10. District 59 - J.D. Sheffield (R-Gatesville)*
    11. District 96 - Bill Zedler (R)
  4. House Appropriations Committee (oversees Medicaid funding/rates)
    1. District 139 - Sylvester Turner (D)
    2. District 46 - Dawnna Dukes (D)
    3. District 109 - Helen Giddings (D)
    4. District 48 - Donna Howard (D)
    5. District 77 - Marisa Marquez (D)
    6. District 120 - Ruth Jones McClendon (D)
    7. District 36 - Sergio Munoz, Jr. (D)
    8. District 10 - Jim Pitts (R)
    9. District 57 - Trent Ashby (R)
    10. District 3 - Cecil Bell, Jr. (R)
    11. District 24 - Greg Bonnen (R)
    12. District 102 - Stefani Carter (R)
    13. District 64 - Myra Crownover (R)
    14. District 72 - Drew Darby (R)
    15. District 52 - Larry Gonzales (R)
    16. District 5 - Bryan Hughes (R)
    17. District 35 - Oscar Longoria (R)
    18. District 58 - Rob Orr (R)
    19. District 18 - John Otto (R)
    20. District 94 - Diane Patrick (R)
    21. District 83 - Charles Perry (R)
    22. District 87 - Four Prince (R)
    23. District 14 - John Raney (R)
    24. District 115 - Bennett Ratliff (R)
    25. District 28 - John Zerwas (R)
    26. District 71 - Susan King (R-Abilene)*
    27. District 134 - Sarah Davis (R-Houston)*
The folks mentioned in red under each of the committees are up for re-election this year, and PA PAC has pointed a few of them out as facing "significant challenges," but they never mention any of the democratic/libertarian candidates, nor do they point out any of the challenging republican candidates. The candidates with an asterisk* are candidates the PA PAC endorse. I'm not sure if this is simply because of party affiliation, or if it is because they truly do emphasize the amount of PA legislation passed by each candidate. I cannot imagine that democratic senators and representatives wouldn't pass PA legislation, though. For me personally, I cannot support (some) of the republican senators that support other issues that I do not agree with, even if they do pass PA legislation. Certain issues matter more and hit closer to home and you should take the time to review each candidates "issues" on their websites before voting for them.

Here, I've presented you with all of the candidates running for each district. If you live in any of the districts with representing Texas state senators, I encourage you to vote on March 4, 2014 in the primary election! Otherwise, the general election will be on November 4, 2014.

If you don't make this primary election, your chance will come in May, when the Texas House of Representatives faces a primary election, and again in November for the general election. 

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