Politics

State of Texas: Abortion rights uncertainty provides new urgency on the marketing campaign path


AUSTIN (Nexstar) — A Democratic congressional race in South Texas is garnering nationwide consideration, because the Roe v. Wade leaked opinion shakes up a good runoff election.

Nine-term Congressman Henry Cuellar of Laredo’s well-known opposition to abortion is coming below fireplace by progressive challenger Jessica Cisneros, his former intern.

The incumbent is the only Democrat who voted towards codifying Roe v. Wade, the Women’s Health Protection Act, which failed in Congress on the finish of February.

Cisneros, a younger progressive backed by the likes of Sen. Bernie Senators of Vermont and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has all the time criticized her opponent’s file on abortion rights.

But within the remaining weeks earlier than the runoff election, a bombshell POLITICO report of a leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion hanging down Roe v. Wade got here out, reigniting the nation’s concentrate on one of the crucial divisive subjects: abortion.

“I am calling on Democratic Party leadership to withdraw their support of Henry Cuellar who is the last anti-choice Democrat in the House,” Cisneros stated in a Tuesday assertion.

Democratic Congressional candidate Jessica Cisneros speaks at a rally, Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Democratic Congressional candidate Jessica Cisneros speaks at a rally, Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Despite these calls, Cuellar was joined by the third-ranking House Democrat in San Antonio for a pre-planned marketing campaign rally on a scorching Wednesday night.

Majority Whip Jim Clyburn of South Carolina advised reporters Democrats are a “big tent party,” and there shouldn’t be a “litmus test in the Democratic Party.”

“I would ask anybody, which is more important? To have a pro-life Democrat or to have an anti-abortion Republican? Just come November, that could very well be the choice in this district,” Clyburn stated.

KXAN requested Clyburn if he meant he thought that will be the state of affairs if Cisneros gained the runoff and have become the Democratic nominee. He stated no.

“I don’t know what the district looks like anymore. But I know what the district was like the last time he ran. And if it looks anything like it was the last time he ran,” Clyburn stated. “In fact, the national people rate this a toss up.”

Julia Manchester, a marketing campaign reporter for The Hill, stated with the danger of shedding the House throughout the November midterms elections, she guesses this isn’t a seat Democrats need to danger.

“They’re going to back incumbents. They’re going to lean on those incumbents and support them. So I think there’s that factor. But there’s also a question of can a progressive be successful in this district,” she stated.

Cuellar didn’t point out abortion throughout his stump speech to the group of roughly 80 individuals. Although, he touted loved help from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Rep. Steny Hoyer, regardless of their variations.

The Laredo congressman advised the group what these leaders are answerable for doing, as a reminder of the ability he can harness for Texas by being of their good graces.

He advised them concerning the work he and Clyburn did reaching throughout the aisle to win Republican votes within the Infrastructure Deal, which Texas will obtain billions of to restore infrastructure and create jobs.

“When I was asking to be in appropriations, Nancy Pelosi could have picked anybody she could. We know she’s very progressive. I’m a little bit more moderate than she is,” Cuellar stated. “But she decided to pick me … why? Because they knew I could get the job done.”

Manchester stated the leaked draft opinion “threw a huge wrench” into the runoff election between Cuellar and Cisneros.

Outside of the San Antonio occasion, a small group of protesters stood outdoors with indicators that learn “codify Roe v. Wade.”

“This obviously allows Jessica Cisneros to really pressure him on this issue to say, ‘look, do you think Roe v. Wade should be overturned?” Manchester stated. “And the congressman said in the statement that he does not think there should be an outright ban on abortion. But still a very fine line to walk.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who has endorsed Cisneros, referred to as out Cuellar in an announcement.

“Henry Cuellar is on the wrong side of every issue. He holds an A rating from the NRA, he voted with Donald Trump 69% of the time during Trump’s first two years in office. He even voted to build Trump’s stupid wall,” Warren stated.

At his Wednesday rally, Cuellar described his variations as strengths.

“When it comes to certain issues, I will look at the district to decide. I don’t think you sent me to Washington to make political statements,” he stated.

It’s a seat Republicans want to in acquiring their targets of a purple tidal wave come November. South Texas, a historic Democratic stronghold, is the last word battleground for the GOP in Texas.

Alex Kuehler, a spokesperson for the RNC Southwest, has talked about counties like Zapata County, which though isn’t in Cuellar’s district, is within the higher a part of South Texas. It flipped purple within the 2020 presidential election for the primary time in a century.

“We see an opportunity, which is why we’ve put three RNC Hispanic community centers down in that area,” Kuehler stated. “One in Laredo, one in McAllen, and then we’ve also got one in San Antonio.”

He stated the GOP is vying for the twenty eighth district of Texas no matter if the nominee is a average incumbent or a recent progressive, however particularly highlighted traits of Cisneros he doesn’t suppose would play effectively in that race.

“Jessica Cisneros, based on the things that she has said and based on her platform, is an extreme left-wing liberal, and she doesn’t fit that district,” he stated.

KXAN reached out to the Cisneros marketing campaign however didn’t hear again in time for this story.

Manchester stated this race will doubtless be the primary take a look at of how the opportunity of a post-Roe nation impacts elections.

“I think everyone will be paying very close attention to this race in particular because it could tell us about what to expect going forward on the issue of abortion,” she stated.

Senators obtain replace on inflation influence on Texas price range

Texas lawmakers obtained new data final week concerning the potential influence of inflation on the state price range. On Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee heard a report from the State Comptroller’s workplace concerning the state’s income outlook.

Brad Reynolds, Chief Revenue Estimator for the Comptroller’s workplace advised the committee that value will increase have boosted gross sales tax collections in addition to another state revenues. But he stated larger prices may also take a toll on the price range.

“The stress it’s going to cause you in budget writing is escalating costs for things that state agencies are instructed by law or were authorized in the appropriations act to be spending money on,” Reynolds advised lawmakers.

“We’re fortunate to be where we’re at,” State Sen. Charles Perry (R-Lubbock) stated. He pointed to reviews that present the state with $311 billion in income, up $46 billion from when lawmakers left final session.

“But I can safely say we’re going to see $46 billion in increased costs,” Perry added, referring to inflationary stress.

Texas medical doctors deemed a ‘threat’ to sufferers, nonetheless allowed to apply

Sitting in a white-walled room, legs crossed and physique simply out-of-view of the hidden digicam he introduced alongside, an undercover officer stated his again hurts — however “stronger medication” would assist.

“We have to see if you have real pain first,” Dr. James Pierre stated within the video, earlier than he’s seen giving a bodily examination that lasts simply 30 seconds.

“I’m going to start you off as acute pain,” Pierre advised the Drug Enforcement Administration agent who posed as a affected person. “Which, for you, will be no more than twice a day for the pain medication.”

Off-camera, Pierre wrote a prescription for 60 hydrocodone tablets, in line with the DEA in Houston. That is the place Pierre owned and operated the West Parker Medical Clinic, which authorities say was nothing greater than a cash-only “pill-mill.” Federal authorities arrested Pierre in 2017, the 12 months after the undercover video was recorded.

This previous March, Pierre, 52, was convicted of illegally prescribing greater than one million opioid tablets between 2015 and 2016. Federal investigators stated Pierre bought probably lethal mixtures of ache tablets and muscle relaxers — referred to as a “Las Vegas Cocktail” — with none professional medical objective, charging upwards of $500 in money. The operation, court docket data present, netted the unlicensed ache administration clinic $2.4 million over one 12 months. More than $300,000 of that went to Pierre’s pockets, in line with the Department of Justice.

It seems, the Texas Medical Board was conscious he was giving lots of of sufferers ache tablets they didn’t want — but nonetheless allowed Pierre to apply.

  • Dr. James Pierre (DEA Houston Photo)
  • Seven prescription pads on a table
  • outside a building with a west parker medical clinic sign

In 2016, the TMB’s personal public data present Pierre’s medical license was suspended. The board stated he operated an “unregistered” and “unlicensed pain management clinic” the place he “nontherapeutically prescribed controlled substances.” In a one-month interval in 2016, the board recognized 729 prescriptions written for no less than one opioid. In 2015, over the span of practically 9 months, Pierre wrote 8,934 prescriptions — 98% of which have been for the highly-abused hydrocodone and carisoprodol — in some instances with none bodily examination, the board additionally discovered.

“Respondent’s continuation in the practice of medicine would constitute a continuing threat to the public welfare,” the TMB wrote in its suspension order dated Aug. 26, 2016.

As if to place a high quality level on it, leaving no room for doubt, the TMB in its suspension order outlined “continuing threat” to imply: “a real danger to the health of a physician’s patients or to the public… caused through the physician’s lack of competence…”

Despite that warning, the board lifted Pierre’s suspension 10 months in a while June 16, 2017.

In public disciplinary data, the board cited “mitigating factors” in its determination to permit Pierre to maintain treating sufferers. Among them: he “expressed remorse;” had a “genuine misunderstanding” of ache administration necessities; and was a “very young and inexperienced physician.” He was 46 years previous on the time and had been practising in Texas for over a decade, data present.

The TMB dominated Pierre might proceed seeing sufferers with sure restrictions: He couldn’t write long-term prescriptions for managed substances or deal with continual ache sufferers for 5 years. Pierre was arrested on July 11, 2017 and launched on a $100,000 bond.

More than a month after his federal conviction, Pierre’s license was nonetheless listed as “active” on the TMB web site with no file of his legal historical past.

“TMB is prohibited from discussing the specifics of confidential deliberations,” stated TMB spokesperson Jarrett Schneider. “However, the individual was prohibited from treating for chronic pain for a period of five years in 2017. He had additional limitations placed on his practice, the location where he could practice, limits to prescribing controlled substances, and monitoring. The restrictions continue to remain in effect. The conviction you are citing occurred approximately two weeks ago [at the time the statement was issued]. As with all licensees, the Board will review this conviction for appropriate action based on our standard process.”

Pierre might face greater than 20 years in jail when sentenced on June 27, in line with a DOJ information launch. Messages left along with his legal professional weren’t returned.

Patient advocates fear permitting medical doctors going through severe misconduct allegations to maintain practising places sufferers in danger. Some fear harmful medical doctors gained’t cease except they’re in handcuffs.

“We shouldn’t be relying on our police and prosecutors to finally stop these doctors from hurting people,” stated Ware Wendell, the chief director of Texas Watch, a nonpartisan group based mostly in Austin that advocates for affected person security.

Wendell is pushing lawmakers to introduce laws in response to what KXAN uncovered that would come with, amongst different issues, how physicians are disciplined. In response to our investigations, Rep. Julie Johnson (D-Farmers Branch) is drafting a invoice and calling for the TMB to be audited.

“We need the medical board to step up and do its job,” Wendell stated. “They say their job is safeguarding the public. Do it.”

The TMB declined an on-camera interview. In an announcement, Schneider stated the board would, typically talking, “welcome the opportunity” to work with any member of the legislature “to better serve Texans.” He defended the best way the board disciplines medical doctors.

“Each case will have its own set of facts, as well as possible aggravating and mitigating factors,” responded Schneider in an announcement. “Active criminal charges can sometimes make it easier to limit a physician whereas criminal charges that are reduced or dismissed can make it more difficult to limit a physician. The same goes for participating and nonparticipating witnesses.”

Schneider stated the company locations restrictions on physicians as a method to tackle an “immediate threat to the public.”

“The Board seeks to take an action based on the evidence available at the time that it feels can best protect the public in any given case,” he added, “while also providing the physician with statutorily required due process throughout the investigation and administrative proceedings.”

A KXAN investigation discovered no less than eight instances the place Texas medical doctors face a number of complaints — even convictions — but the TMB allowed them to nonetheless apply. Six of these instances have been from as latest as TMB’s March 2022 bulletin.

Most contain medical doctors credibly accused of sexual misconduct with sufferers.


			Dr. David Butler (Austin Police Department Photo)

Dr. David Butler (Austin Police Department Photo)

That’s what occurred with Austin household doctor Dr. David Butler.

Like Pierre, the TMB labeled Butler a “threat to public welfare.” It suspended his license on Oct. 2, 2019. The board’s personal investigation discovered a “pattern of inappropriate sexual contact” with no less than 10 sufferers together with a 17-year-old. For a few of these sufferers, Butler “inappropriately prescribed” managed substances “without medical justification,” the board decided.

But two months after suspending his medical license and calling him a “threat” to the general public, the TMB lifted his suspension on Dec. 6.

“[Y]ou’re referring to a Temporary Suspension, which prescribed in statute, is a ‘temporary’ action until the Board takes a subsequent future action,” Schneider wrote in an announcement. “The criminal charges against David Butler came after the Agreed Order was entered, and the Board suspended him again based on the criminal charges. The suspension of his license remains in effect today.”

That “Agreed Order” allowed Butler to maintain treating sufferers once more — however solely males over 18. Within days of that motion, the board warned Austin police about Butler’s “possible criminal violations” because it allowed him to apply.

Butler was solely stopped from seeing sufferers after he was arrested on April 15, 2020 — 4 months after his license was reinstated — on possession of kid pornography fees. Court data describe proof as “scores” of photographs on a thumb drive, together with some as younger as toddlers.

Five days after his arrest, on April 20, the TMB once more suspended Butler’s medical license. He was launched from the Travis County Jail on a $50,000 bond and ordered to not have contact with minors. He is due again in court docket on June 8.

Butler declined to remark concerning the ongoing case.

He “plans to resume his practice in the future,” in line with his web site.


			Dr. James Pierre, foreground, and Dr. David Butler, background. (Houston DEA, APD Photos; KXAN Photo/Matt Grant)

Dr. James Pierre, foreground, and Dr. David Butler, background. (Houston DEA, APD Photos; KXAN Photo/Matt Grant)

“In many instances, they’re bending over backwards to give the least harsh penalty so as to not interfere with the doctor’s ability to practice medicine,” stated medical malpractice legal professional Kay Van Wey, who represented victims of Texas neurosurgeon Dr. Christopher Duntsch. Five years in the past Duntsch — dubbed “Dr. Death” within the media — was sentenced to life in jail for killing and maiming his sufferers.

The case, which gained nationwide consideration, highlighted the TMB’s inaction relating to stopping harmful medical doctors from practising.

“I honestly think there is some type of philosophical approach that they have where they really don’t want to interfere with the doctor’s ability to practice medicine,” Wey stated. “You can’t be an imminent threat to your patients and then not be a few months later.”

According to its mission assertion on-line, the TMB’s position is to “protect and enhance the public’s health, safety and welfare” by sustaining “standards of excellence and ensuring quality care” partially by “discipline.”

The mission is acquainted to a TMB insider. KXAN agreed to hide this present worker’s id as a result of they don’t seem to be licensed to talk to the media and might be fired for doing so. This whistleblower, whose id and employment KXAN has confirmed, isn’t stunned by the instances we uncovered.

“It tells you the board is very lax when it comes to reprimanding physicians,” the insider stated.

The TMB worker stated complaints from hospitals, medical doctors and even board members take “priority” over complaints made by sufferers. The company, the worker defined, lacks the investigative assets wanted to deal with each criticism and the desire to remove a health care provider’s skill to earn a residing.

“Yes, we are here to protect the public,” the worker stated. “But, in reality, I don’t think that they [TMB] do enough.”

The TMB declined to touch upon this level.

“We do not have a comment regarding remarks from an unnamed individual,” Schneider stated.

KXAN checked out doctor disciplinary knowledge from 2019to 2021 in Texas and in contrast it to Florida, a state with practically the identical variety of doctor licenses.

In the final three years, we discovered 83 Texas medical licenses have been taken away or surrendered. That’s lower than 2% of all TMB investigations.

In comparability, Florida had 136 licenses revoked or surrendered, equaling greater than 5% of all its investigations.

Overall, in Florida, 50-66% of all investigations resulted in disciplinary actions within the final three years in comparison with simply 10% in Texas.

Patient advocates like Wendell say the TMB wants a self-examination.

“If you care about patients, you need to aggressively act on behalf of the patient,” Wendell stated. “If there’s a dangerous doctor, that doctor should not be practicing medicine in this state. The ability to practice medicine is a privilege — it’s not a right. And if that privilege is being abused, we need the medical board to step in on behalf of us, the patients, and make sure we are actually protected.”

Questions raised about political donations by Texas Medical Board members

Gov. Greg Abbott tapped top-dollar donors to take a seat on the Texas Medical Board. He additionally appointed members — tasked with representing the buyer — who come from telecom, enterprise, actual property and vitality sectors, with no apparent affected person advocacy or medical expertise, a KXAN investigation revealed.

The TMB’s mission is to “protect and enhance the public’s health, safety and welfare” however some advocates fear that comes with a political price ticket.

“The query isn’t: ‘Is this someone who donated a bunch of money to a political campaign? Is this someone who checks a political box?,’” said Ware Wendell, the executive director of the non-partisan organization Texas Watch, which advocates for patient safety. “The question should be: ‘Is this someone who’s going to guarantee that sufferers are protected?’”

KXAN needed to see how cash and politics intersect with affected person security in Texas. Digging by marketing campaign finance data, we discovered a number of board members, appointed by the governor, who’ve collectively donated lots of of hundreds of {dollars} to Abbott’s marketing campaign, in line with data relationship again to 2014.

By regulation, the 19-member medical board is answerable for licensing and regulating physicians in Texas. All are appointed by the governor to serve six-year phrases. A dozen of the TMB board members — greater than half — are medical doctors. Less than half, seven, are thought-about “public members.” These are members who, by design, haven’t any medical background and assist stability the board by defending the pursuits of sufferers and customers. Advocates like this method and have pushed for extra outdoors illustration on medical boards throughout the nation.

The TMB’s web site doesn’t particularly determine which of its members are “public,” like different states do. KXAN discovered some members, meant to characterize the typical affected person and shopper, who don’t have an apparent monitor file of affected person advocacy work however do have a historical past of donating to Abbott since 2014:

  • Arun Agarwal, CEO of Nextt, a big textile firm, gave the governor $196,758.
  • Michael Cokinos, president of Cokinos Energy Corporation in Houston, donated $32,500 to Abbott’s re-election.

KXAN searched marketing campaign data for each board member. In addition to Agarwal and Cokinos, we discovered 5 medical doctors gave the governor between $7,425 and $85,000, in line with marketing campaign finance data. The highest quantity got here from Dr. Sherif Zaafran, the board’s president.

KXAN analyzed each state medical board within the nation. In practically each state, board members are governor-appointed. Nationwide, Texas is tied for first with probably the most variety of public members on its board. Despite that, Wendell, and others, fear that appointing donors permits for the potential to politicize these positions.

“We need to take politics out of patient safety,” he stated.

INTERACTIVE: State Medical Boards

ClickTap on a state to see how Texas compares


Alabama

Alaska Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Connecticut Delaware Florida Georgia

Hawaii Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kansas Kentucky Louisiana Maine Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota Mississippi Missouri Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico New York North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oklahoma Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont Virginia West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming District of Columbia

District of Columbia

×

TEXAS

State medical board:
Texas Medical Board

Physician or medical background: 12

Public board members: 7

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 19

×

ALABAMA

State medical board #1:
Alabama Board of Medical Examiners (decide if candidates are certified for licensure, investigates complaints, brings formal fees)

Physician or medical background: 16

Public board members: 0

Governor appointed? No. Members come from Medical Association of the State of Alabama’s Board of Censors (elected by licensees)

Total members: 16


State medical board #2:
Alabama Medical Licensure Commission (points licenses for physicians, tribunal for imposing self-discipline)

Physician or medical background: 7

Public board members: 1

Governor appointed? Yes and No (Governor appoints 4 members, together with public member; Lt. Gov. and Speaker of the House of Representatives every appoint 2 members)

Total members: 8

×

ALASKA

State medical board:
Alaska State Medical Board

Physician or medical background: 6

Public board members: 2

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 8

×

ARIZONA

State medical board:
Arizona Medical Board

Physician or medical background: 8

Public board members: 4 (1 public member is a licensed nurse)

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 12

×

ARKANSAS

State medical board:
Arkansas State Medical Board

Physician or medical background: 12

Public board members: 2

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 14

×

CALIFORNIA

State medical board:
Medical Board of California

Physician or medical background: 8

Public board members: 7

Governor appointed? Yes and No: Most appointed by governor; 1 public member appointed by Speaker of Assembly; 1 public member appointed by Senate Rules Committee

Total members: 15

×

COLORADO

State medical board:
Colorado Medical Board

Physician or medical background: 12

Public board members: 4

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 16

×

CONNECTICUT

State medical board:
Connecticut Medical Examining Board

Physician or medical background: 14

Public board members: 7

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 21

×

DELAWARE

State medical board:
Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline

Physician or medical background: 10

Public board members: 5

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 16 (contains 1 director of Division of Public Health)

×

FLORIDA

State medical board:
Florida Board of Medicine

Physician or medical background: 12

Public board members: 3

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 15

×

GEORGIA

State medical board:
Georgia Composite Medical Board

Physician or medical background: 14

Public board members: 2

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 16 (15 voting members + 1 doctor assistant ex-officio member)

×

HAWAII

State medical board:
Hawaii Medical Board

Physician or medical background: 9

Public board members: 2

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 11

×

IDAHO

State medical board:
Idaho Board of Medicine

Physician or medical background: 8

Public board members: 3

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 11 (contains 1 director of Idaho State Police)

×

ILLINOIS

State medical board:
State Medical Licensing Board

Physician or medical background: 7

Public board members: 0

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 7

×

INDIANA

State medical board:
Medical Licensing Board of Indiana

Physician or medical background: 6

Public board members: 1

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 7

×

IOWA

State medical board:
Iowa Board of Medicine

Physician or medical background: 7

Public board members: 3

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 10

×

KANSAS

State medical board:
Kansas Board of Healing Arts

Physician or medical background: 12

Public board members: 3

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 15

×

KENTUCKY

State medical board:
Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure

Physician or medical background: 8

Public board members: 3

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 15 (together with 4 de facto members: 3 deans of medical/osteopathic faculties; 1 Commissioner of Public Health)

×

LOUISIANA

State medical board:
Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners

Physician or medical background: 9

Public board members: 1

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 10

×

MAINE

State medical board:
State of Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine

Physician or medical background: 8

Public board members: 3

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 11

×

MARYLAND

State medical board:
Maryland Board of Physicians

Physician or medical background: 16

Public board members: 6 (contains 1 “knowledgeable in risk management or quality assurance matters”)

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 22

×

MASSACHUSETTS

State medical board:
State medical board: Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine

Physician or medical background: 5

Public board members: 2

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 7

×

MICHIGAN

State medical board:
Michigan Board of Medicine

Physician or medical background: 12

Public board members: 7

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 19

×

MINNESOTA

State medical board:
Minessota Board of Medical Practice

Physician or medical background: 11

Public board members: 5

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 16

×

MISSISSIPPI

State medical board:
Mississippi State Board of Medical Licensure

Physician or medical background: 9

Public board members: 3 non-voting

Governor appointed? Yes and No: The governor appoints all however non-voting shopper members, who’re nominated by the board’s president.

Total members: 12

×

MISSOURI

State medical board:
Missouri State Board of Registration for the Healing Arts

Physician or medical background: 8

Public board members: 1

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 9

×

MONTANA

State medical board:
Montana Board of Medical Examiners

Physician or medical background: 11 (contains 1 nutritionist, 1 acupuncturist)

Public board members: 2

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 13

×

NEBRASKA

State medical board:
Nebraska State Board of Medical Examiners

Physician or medical background: 6

Public board members: 2

Governor appointed? No: Nebraska State Board of Health appoints.

Total members: 8

×

NEVADA

State medical board:
Nevada Board of Medical Examiners

Physician or medical background: 6

Public board members: 3

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 9

×

NEW HAMPSHIRE

State medical board:
New Hampshire Board of Medicine

Physician or medical background: 7

Public board members: 3

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 11 (contains 1 Commissioner of Health and Human Services or designee)

×

NEW JERSEY

State medical board:
New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners

Physician or medical background: 16

Public board members: 3

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 21 (contains 1 Commissioner of Health or designee; 1 govt division designee)

×

NEW MEXICO

State medical board:
New Mexico Medical Board

Physician or medical background: 9

Public board members: 2

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 11

×

NEW YORK

State medical board:
New York Medical Board

Physician or medical background: 20

Public board members: 2 minimal

Governor appointed? No: Appointed by Board of Regents

Total members: 24

×

NORTH CAROLINA

State medical board:
North Carolina Medical Board

Physician or medical background: 10

Public board members: 3

Governor appointed? Yes and No: 11 appointed by governor; 2 appointed by General Assembly

Total members: 13

×

NORTH DAKOTA

State medical board:
North Dakota Board of Medicine

Physician or medical background: 11

Public board members: 2

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 13

×

OHIO

State medical board:
State Medical Board of Ohio

Physician or medical background: 9

Public board members: 3

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 12

×

OKLAHOMA

State medical board:
Oklahoma State Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision

Physician or medical background: 7

Public board members: 4

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 11

×

OREGON

State medical board:
Oregon Medical Board

Physician or medical background: 11

Public board members: 3

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 14

×

PENNSYLVANIA

State medical board:
State Board of Medicine

Physician or medical background: 8

Public board members: 2

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: Total members: 12 (contains 1 Secretary of Health Designee; 1 Commissioner of the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs)

×

RHODE ISLAND

State medical board:
Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline

Physician or medical background: 7

Public board members: 6

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 13

×

SOUTH CAROLINA

State medical board:
Board of Medical Examiners

Physician or medical background: 10

Public board members: 3

Governor appointed? Yes and No: Governor appoints 3 public members, 1 doctor; Board nominates the rest, however governor can reject

Total members: 13

×

SOUTH DAKOTA

State medical board:
South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners

Physician or medical background: 7

Public board members: 2 (1 may be non-physician well being care skilled)

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 9

×

TENNESSEE

State medical board:
Tennesee Board of Medical Examiners

Physician or medical background: 9

Public board members: 3

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 12

×

UTAH

State medical board:
Utah Physicians and Surgeons Licensing Board

Physician or medical background: 9

Public board members: 2

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 11

×

VERMONT

State medical board:
Vermont Board of Medical Practice

Physician or medical background: 11

Public board members: 6

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 17

×

VIRGINIA

State medical board:
Virginia Board of Medicine

Physician or medical background: 14

Public board members: 4

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 18

×

WASHINGTON

State medical board:
Washington Medical Commission

Physician or medical background: 15

Public board members: 6

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 21

×

WEST VIRGINIA

State medical board:
West Virgnia Board of Medicine

Physician or medical background: 13

Public board members: 3

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 16

×

WISCONSIN

State medical board:
State of Wisconsin Medical Examining Board

Physician or medical background: 10

Public board members: 3

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 13

×

WYOMING

State medical board:
Wyoming Board of Medicine

Physician or medical background: 6

Public board members: 2

Governor appointed? Yes

Total members: 8

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District of Columbia

State medical board:
DC Board of Medicine

Physician or medical background: 10

Public board members: 4

Governor appointed? N/A: Appointed by mayor

Total members: 15 (contains 1 director of Department of Health or designee)

KXAN put collectively a map displaying the make up of each state medical board within the U.S.

That is particularly true in Texas, Wendell stated, after a collection of KXAN investigations revealed the TMB is just not following the regulation by protecting dozens of out-of-state disciplinary data secret and permitting some physicians the board deemed “a threat to public welfare” to maintain practising, with restrictions.

A TMB spokesperson declined an on-camera interview however in an announcement defended the best way physicians are disciplined and stated the company “does not have appointment authority” relating to who will get to take a seat on the medical board.

“The TMB does not control the selection/appointment of Board members,” TMB spokesperson Jarrett Schneider wrote in an announcement. “Requirements of individual board members are set out in state law as you noted. The Governor has appointment authority with the Texas Senate giving confirmation.”


			Photos of the Gov. Abbott and the TMB on top of campaign finance records (KXAN Photo/Josh Hinkle)

Photos of the Gov. Abbott and the TMB on high of marketing campaign finance data (KXAN Photo/Josh Hinkle)

At least one present TMB worker believes the governor ought to appoint public members with backgrounds in affected person advocacy and security work. KXAN agreed to hide this particular person’s id as a result of they don’t seem to be licensed to talk to reporters and might be fired for doing so.

“I’m not shocked that these people who are appointed are big donors,” the worker stated. “I don’t think it should be that way. It is very political.”

This insider believes the present system permits “bad doctors” to maintain practising, which they are saying is “sad.”

“I think there are some board members that would rather protect the physicians because they are physicians themselves,” the TMB worker stated. “I think they could do a lot more to protect the public.”

“We do not have a comment regarding remarks from an unnamed individual,” Schneider stated.

Longtime Austin affected person advocate, Lisa McGiffert, with the Patient Safety Action Network, stated she isn’t stunned by what KXAN uncovered.

“Typically in Texas,” she stated, standing in entrance of the Capitol, “donors get appointed to these important boards. I’ve seen that for 30 years.”

Like Wendell, McGiffert can also be pushing for laws in response to what KXAN uncovered. In 2017, she added her title to a letter despatched to Abbott, which was signed by greater than a dozen shopper advocates. The letter requested for extra public members to be appointed to the medical board. The letter was despatched to all 50 states.

“Your state Medical Examining Board is an essential organization protecting citizens from unprofessional and incompetent doctors,” the letter stated, in line with an e-mail of it, which was forwarded to KXAN. “Public members (sometimes referred to as citizen or consumer members) play a critical role on Medical Examining Boards. Because they should be free of financial and other professional ties to the health care professions, their experience can ground a medical examining board and provide insight and common sense to deliberations.”

The coalition really helpful appointing public members with a “demonstrated interest in health care safety” and “a track record of consumer and/or patient interest advocacy.”

McGiffert stated she by no means heard again.

The governor’s workplace didn’t reply to a number of requests for remark.

“Your reporting has uncovered ways that the Texas Medical Board has not always taken the public’s interest — in actions against doctors who were harming patients, and in some cases, repeatedly harming patients,” McGiffert stated. “I think people, absolutely, who are patient advocates, should be considered [for board-appointment].”


			Patient advocates Ware Wendell and Lisa McGiffert discuss legislative ideas in front of the Capitol (KXAN Photo/Matt Grant)

Patient advocates Ware Wendell and Lisa McGiffert focus on legislative concepts in entrance of the Capitol (KXAN Photo/Matt Grant)

McGiffert and Wendell are each involved about what KXAN uncovered, together with doable conflicts of curiosity. Last 12 months, TMB board member and doctor Dr. Satish Nayak — who donated $38,920 to the governor — entered right into a “remedial plan,” in line with the TMB’s public data. The board decided he “failed to keep adequate medical records for multiple patients.”

Under the Texas Administrative Code, that constitutes “grounds for potential removal” from the board by the governor. Two of Nayak’s fellow board members provided him the chance to take an eight-hour class as a part of the remediation plan. Towards the underside of the board’s order towards Nayak, written in all caps and daring letters, the board wrote: “THIS REMEDIAL PLAN IS NON-DISCIPLINARY.” The governor didn’t reply to requests asking if he’s conscious of this or made makes an attempt to take away Nayak.

According to the TAC, a board member who’s the “subject of a non-disciplinary or disciplinary action, including but not limited to any remedial plan, board order, or administrative penalty, regardless of the nature of the violation(s)” can face “potential removal.”

The American Medical Association writes medical doctors have an “ethical obligation” to handle data appropriately, which serve “important patient interests for present health care and future needs, as well as insurance, employment, and other purposes.”

The TMB’s spokesperson deferred to the governor.

“TMB does not have appointment nor removal authority of Board Members,” Schneider wrote in an announcement. “The TMB does not control the selection/appointment of Board Members… The Governor has appointment authority with the Texas Senate giving confirmation.”

Records detailing Nayak’s preliminary criticism should not on the TMB’s web site for the general public to view. The TMB says criticism data are confidential. The motion was additionally not posted within the TMB’s quarterly bulletin, regardless that actions taken towards different physicians have been, for related offenses.

“Remedial plans are ‘non-disciplinary’ actions by statute and are not included with disciplinary orders in publications such as the TMB bulletin,” Schneider stated. “However, they are public documents and are posted to the online profiles as required by law. Remedial Plans were created by state law enacted in 2011. All physicians receive the same treatment regarding the posting of Remedial Plans.”

Schneider would solely say “each case will have its own set of facts that must be evaluated regardless of sharing similar allegations.” He denies Nayak obtained any preferential remedy.

“The enforcement process is the same whether the individual is a Board member or not,” Schneider stated. “The entire process, including who hears the case, follows all statutes and rules just like every other physician. TMB has no authority to create a separate process for TMB-licensed Board Members with alleged violations.”

These forms of standard-of-care violations are reviewed by knowledgeable medical doctors, not affiliated with the TMB, Schneider stated, noting they’re from outdoors the world the place the criticism was made.

KXAN reached out to Nayak together with different TMB board members recognized on this report for remark however didn’t hear again.

“Your reporting has uncovered real problems in our state, a clear and present danger for patients,” stated Wendell. “If the Texas Medical Board is really about protecting patients, we need people on the Texas Medical Board who have a demonstrated history of protecting patients. It makes sense.”



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