On Tuesday and Wednesday, BOR published two pieces regarding the Texas Medical Association and their continued support for politicians who act against their policy recommendations.
We detailed TMA's hypocrisy on women's health and the Affordable Care Act — the organization continues to endorse and donate extensively to Republicans who vigorously oppose and actively undermine their policy positions.
Yesterday, TMA responded to the articles in an email, claiming that they “have extremely detailed policy positions … that cover far, far more than the two issues you have decided should determine our support or opposition to candidates and public officials.”
While this may be true, it doesn't negate the facts presented in the articles. TMA has continued to provide political and financial support to lawmakers who have repeatedly pushed legislation that goes against TMA's detailed policy positions. TMA is free to do as it sees fit, but BOR is also free to call into question TMA's lack of explanation of why it has continued to endorse people who have actively advanced anti-woman, anti-health legislation.
Read the email from TMA below the jump.TMA also said they should have been contacted before the pieces ran. The research, numbers, and facts we presented are all true, and were retrieved from public data available on the Texas Ethics Commission site and the Texas Tribune's database of campaign contributions.
If TMA would like to respond to provide additional context or an explanation for their behavior, they are welcome to do so. BOR invites TMA to respond to the facts we presented about its actions on HB 2 and the Affordable Care Act.
TMA is welcome to explain why candidates like Jodie Laubenberg and Glenn Hegar earned endorsements despite advancing legislation that infringes on the doctor-patient relationship, or the rationale behind endorsing candidates who want to decimate the Affordable Care Act when that's not what TMA itself advocates. BOR and our readers would appreciate insight into TMA's decision-making process and what issues they prioritized when making endorsement and donation decisions.
The email from TMA is below.
From: Steve Levine
Date: Wed, Jan 29, 2014 at 1:42 PM
Katie, I don't know you but I've had the misfortune of reading your two recent diatribes against the Texas Medical Association. I'm not sure why you've decided to write about us, but I suspect you'd do a lot better job of it if you would contact us ahead of time for some context, for an opportunity to give your readers some context.
Politically, TMA is a bipartisan organization. We support Democrats and Republicans in Austin, Washington, and around the state. We have extremely detailed policy positions – developed and determined by grassroots Texas physicians – that cover far, far more than the two issues you have decided should determine our support or opposition to candidates and public officials.
As I do for every other responsible journalist, I invite you to call or write me or the other members of our media relations staff before you spray us with another round of your pepper shot. Our contact information is below.
VP – Communication
Texas Medical Association