Senator Jane Nelson
P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
Fax (512) 463-0923

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 17, 2003
Contact: Dave Nelson
(972) 724-0066

Senator Nelson to Chair Senate Health & Human Services Committee

AUSTIN -- State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, today was named Chairman of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee as part of new committee assignments announced by Lieutenant Governor-elect David Dewhurst, who also appointed Senator Nelson to serve on the powerful Finance Committee, as well as the State Affairs and International Relations & Trade Committees.

"Our Health Committee has several important discussions ahead of us this session, starting with the need to ensure that Texans have access to quality health care. We must stop the bleeding of precious health care dollars that are being diverted to fight frivolous medical liability lawsuits, and we must also improve the payment process between physicians and HMOs," Senator Nelson said. "The average Texan may not be familiar with phrases such as "prompt pay" and "medical liability reform," but I can assure you that these issues will impact the health and well being of us all. My goal as Chairman is to make sure that patients are in the foreground of every discussion in our committee."

Senator Nelson has been a key lawmaker on health issues on each of her previous sessions. She chaired the Senate Health Committee in the 1999, authored the Texas Medical Privacy Act, fought to expand breast cancer services and pushed to make HMOs more accountable to patients. During the interim she led the interim study into medical liability and prompt pay for health care providers and is preparing to take the lead on both issues in the current session.

Senator Nelson also serves as Chairman of the Sunset Advisory Commission, which is currently overseeing the re-authorization of 29 state agencies, boards and commissions this session. She previously served as Chairman of the Nominations Committee.

This is her second appointment to the Finance Committee. "We are going to have to make some tough choices this year, but the decisions we make in this committee will be no different than the ones being made by Texas families and businesses. There is a finite amount of money available, and our job is to allocate it according to where it is needed the most," she said.

A Quote from Lieutenant Governor-Elect Dewhurst

"In the past decade, in addition to exemplary work on education matters, Senator Nelson has become a key leader in the Texas Senate on heath care issues. Her background and experience will be critically important as we address delivery and affordability of health care, medical malpractice and other issues that directly affect every Texas family. I look forward to heavily relying on her judgment and experience during what promises to be a challenging session."

Senator Jane Nelson represents District 12, which includes the growing suburban communities of Denton and Tarrant counties and part of the city of Fort Worth.

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