Last Friday, March 11th 2011, was the last day to file legislation for consideration by the current session of the Texas Legislature. The Legislature meets in regular session every odd-numbered year for 140 days. For this year’s regular session, there were 4,878 bills filed in the House and 2,442 bills filed in the Senate.
No bill in either the Texas House or Senate contained any direct reference to the MD program at UNTHSC or to a change in the education code pertaining to the UNT Board of Regents. Although a regular deadline for filing has passed, a legislator can still introduce a bill if he/she gets a vote to suspend the rules in the respective chamber. Consequently, there are still parliamentary gimmicks to sneak in a bill or amendment
The establishment of a new medical school or the change in status of UNTHSC, which is the only osteopathic institution in Texas, deserves a real and open debate as Texas taxpayers will foot the bills of any new medical school program. Texas taxpayers deserve to know the real cost of any program in this economic recession and budget shortfall. The healthcare of Texans also deserves an open and honest debate about their healthcare delivery system rather than parliamentary gimmicks.
The time has come for Dr. Ransom to mend the rift with the osteopathic community and to move forward by taking the advice of Senator Duell, MD, to educate the local community to break down any residual “cultural barrier” or discrimination against DOs rather than rocking a good ship (TCOM) and sinking the ship in the process.