Letter: What does TAHCS do differently?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I feel compelled to respond to the story on TAHCS (“We want to bring it up a notch,” September 2009).

Mr. Johnson states the providers behind TAHCS played a key role in getting MIPAA passed by securing swing votes from Texas senators. MESA members and I lobbied those same senators. We don’t claim a success that might not belong solely to us.

Mr. Johnson also states TAHCS will “focus on eliminating competitive bidding”—the reason its parent organization, AMEPA, was formed. He states it plans to have an impact on state issues, too. If the association is this indefinite about its mission, how effective can it be?

Mr. Johnson also states that TAHCS wants to be  “proactive.” Where were Mr. Johnson and his supporters when MESA and other already-established associations were fighting to prevent the competitive bidding mandate in MMA 2003? His use of the word “proactive” implies taking steps to prevent something from happening. One cannot prevent what’s already happened, so any steps this new group or any of us takes now can only be reactive.

Mr. Johnson also states “TAHCS and MESA aren’t quite competitors.” MESA’s mission is education, information and training. But MESA also provides legislative support. So what does TAHCS claim to do that’s different? Exactly what is the “it” they claim to be bringing up a notch?

Finally, Mr. Johnson states TAHCS isn’t “further fractioning the industry.” Once there was one national organization and now there are four; in Florida, once there was one, now there are three; and in Texas, TAHCS is trying to siphon off MESA members. If that’s not fractioning, what is?

Please note that the opinions expressed in this letter are mine, and do not reflect the policy of MESA or its board of directors.

– Liz Moran, executive director, MESA