In an interview on Fox News Sunday, Former Gov. Rick Perry lamely defended his record on access to health care. When pressed about our state’s chronically high rate of citizens without health insurance, Perry said that isn’t how he “keeps score.” He trotted out the same, tired talking points touting what he calls “sweeping tort reforms” passed more than a decade ago. Perry ignores key facts about the failure of these so-called “reforms” to improve the overall health or safety of Texas patients. (more…)
Gov. Rick Perry gave his farewell address before a joint session of the legislature today. He touted his record of severely restricting access to legal accountability, pointing specifically to sweeping 2003 legislation that closed the courthouse doors for countless Texans.
Even as he exits the stage, Gov. Perry is a cheerleader for his broken special interest policies that shield polluters, dangerous doctors, makers of dangerously defective products, and big insurance companies from accountability for needless physical and financial harm.
Despite his rhetoric, Perry’s policies have not resulted in better health care, lower insurance costs, or safer communities. Instead, Texas families face new dangers that threaten their physical and financial safety. Whether it is nursing home neglect, junk insurance policies, unsafe toxic chemical facilities, or a host of other looming threats, Texans are less safe.
So-called tort ‘reform’ has never been about helping families. It has always been about protecting narrow interests from accountability.
Texans need real accountability and safety reforms that restore the Constitution’s guarantee of public accountability and ensure all Texans have the ability to thrive in the Texas economy.
As our state’s economy thrives and our population booms, Texas families and communities face new threats to their physical and financial safety. We call on lawmakers to take steps during the 84th Legislature to help Texans thrive in our Texas economy by adopting a Safe Texas Agenda.
“The freedom to raise a family, build a business, and thrive in the Texas economy is only possible if our citizens’ physical and financial safety is protected,” said Alex Winslow, executive director of the citizen advocacy group Texas Watch. “So, priority one for lawmakers should be to adopt common sense steps to put the safety of Texas families and small business owners first.” (more…)
Check out this short video produced by the Center for American Progress. Using personal stories of everyday Texans, it powerfully demonstrates the devastating impact severe restrictions on access to our courts have had on families from every corner of our state. The film features Texas Watch citizen activists, as well as our Executive Director Alex Winslow.
As facts emerge about how Texas Presbyterian Health initially handled the nation’s first case of Ebola, discharging the symptomatic patient into the community, it is important to understand the impact of the Texas law that shields the medical industry from accountability, needlessly threatening patients and the public.
Texas law severely restricts the rights of patents who have been needlessly harmed. Enacted in 2003, the law applies sweeping, arbitrary restrictions on accountability for patient harm caused by careless, negligent medical care. The impact of this law has been that needless harm to countless patients has been swept under the rug. (more…)
Using data from the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare, the Texas Tribune has compiled a searchable database of hospitals quality of care. Patients can learn which hospitals have the highest quality outcomes – and which don’t. The database includes information about ER wait times, surgical complications, hospital-acquired infections, post-dischage readmissions, and overall patient satisfaction.
In other words, use the tool to find out if your hospital is safe.
Access the online database here.
This edition of News of the Week includes stories about the safety of Texas hospitals, a proposal to end licensure requirements for many health care workers, a new report showing Texas near the bottom in long-term care quality, and the work safety hotline that wasn’t connected. (more…)
In this edition of the News of the Week, Greg Abbott shuts down access to information about hazardous chemical facilities, we have tips to get you ready for your summer road trip, OSHA issues a scathing report into a construction worker’s death at Kyle Field, and an Arlington man who had the wrong kidney removed seeks accountability in the courts. (more…)
This week’s installment of News of Week features stories to help Texans prepare for Hurricane season (or anything that could lead to a major insurance claim), insurance companies avoiding their obligations while coastal property owners face higher insurance costs, and evidence of abuse at state and private assisted living centers. (more…)
In this edition of the News of the Week: Senators take testimony on the response to the West disaster, the State Fire Marshal issues a report detailing ways to improve safety after West, nursing home residents face abuse and neglect at an alarming rate with little recourse for repeat offenders, and a video about the importance of class action lawsuits in protecting consumers. (more…)