Texas Medical Association: Liberal Republican
Tribe: Liberal Republican
Texas Medical Association (TMA) advocates on behalf of thousands of doctors and physicians across the state of Texas. Specifically, their PAC works to elect legislators who will work with the medical community to increase the level of state spending on medical services and programs, as well as pass legislation capitalizing on federal programs to secure more dollars coming to Texas from Washington, D.C.
Practically speaking, TMA has strongly advocated for the expansion of Medicaid in Texas, has promoted occupational licensing legislation, opposed medical pricing transparency, and opposed legislation aimed at increasing access to tele-medicine. Their political giving centers on supporting either physicians running for public office or Liberal Republicans in House Leadership. Their strategy is to solidify support of doctors serving in the legislature while having a strong relationship with the Liberal Republican tribe who will do their bidding on issues many Republican primary voters oppose.
A quick look at the top ten recipients of TMA dollars in the Texas House shows a clear bent toward supporting the Liberal Republican tribe.
|Top Ten Texas House Recipients – 2016 Cycle|
***Shown are the top ten supported candidates who won the office they sought, as they have votes to examine from the 85th Legislative Session.
TMA’s supporters believe Texas medical professionals need advocates who will work to ensure their concerns are heard in Austin. With a medical industry that has exploded in growth over the past decade, the financial needs of the industry are great. Also, legislation passed in Texas often serves as a benchmark for what happens in other states. TMA’s strategy of aligning itself with the Liberal Republican tribe of the Texas House is a means to an end — as many of the policies TMA advocates for aren’t viewed favorably by Republican primary voters. Working within the existing system of a Republican-controlled legislature, TMA supporters would argue the group gets more done than otherwise possible were their strategy or alliances different.
Critics of TMA would argue that their policy positions and the candidates they support are far more liberal than the medical community as a whole. TMA’s alliance with – and almost exclusive financial support for – Liberal Republicans represents a deviation from what most medical professionals likely intend to support when they join TMA. TMA’s efforts to expand Medicaid, reduce access to tele-medicine, and forbid transparency in medical services pricing, not only puts the well-being of Texans at risk, but also hurts the long-term prospects for medical industry and its professionals.
The Bottom Line:
TMA’s nearly exclusive support of Liberal Republican legislators clearly reveals their political tribe. TMA’s fundamental goal, to increase spending on health care so their industry has access to more revenue streams, is not necessarily a bad thing. Everyone agrees doctors and medical professionals should get paid for providing services. TMA’s insistence that this spending come from government instead of the private sector causes strife with the Conservative Tribe and results in TMA’s loyalty to Liberal Republicans.
If voters see a large contribution to their candidate/politician from Texas Medical Association, they can likely assume that person is either a medical professional or a Liberal Republican who’s willing to do TMA’s bidding in Austin.
Texas Association of Realtors PACs: Liberal Republican Tribe
An Easy Guide to the Big Money PACs in Texas Politics – In this Series:
- How the PACs Fall Into Political Tribes: An Introduction
- Exposing Political Alliances of the Texas PACs: How We Did It: We explain our methodology. How did we group the politicians? How did we link the PACs?
- Political Tribes Revealed: Character-Defining Votes: A quick look at two examples of the types of votes that reveal true allegiances
- The Four Political Tribes that Run Texas: We tell you the inside story on the four groups vying for political power in the great state of Texas and give you the scoop on some key representatives from each political tribe.
- PACs Have Political Tribes Too: We go beyond political rhetoric to examine some prominent PACs from each political tribe.
- Texas Trial Lawyers Association PAC and Border Health PAC: Democrat Tribe
- Texas Medical Association PAC and Texas Association of Realtors PACs: Liberal Republican Tribe
- Associated Republicans of Texas PAC and Texans for Lawsuit Reform PAC: Moderate Republic Tribe
- Empower Texans PAC and Texas Right to Life PAC: Conservative Republican Tribe