What They Are Saying About Governor Abbott’s Call For Broadband Expansion, Vision For A Healthier Texas

February 2, 2021 | Austin, Texas | Press Release

“TMA praises Governor Abbott for prioritizing three important tools to help Texas physicians care for patients: Telemedicine, so we can safely and efficiently serve more of our patients through the pandemic and beyond; improved broadband service to more Texans, so they can access telemedicine care from their doctor regardless of where they live; and steadfast resolve to increase equitable COVID-19 vaccine distribution, so more people can be protected from the virus. All of these important initiatives will reduce barriers to ensure more patients can receive health care and will empower physicians to improve the health of more Texans," said Diana L. Fite, MD, President of the Texas Medical Association. 

"The Texas Cable Association, which represents the leading broadband providers in Texas, applauds Governor Abbott for designating broadband expansion as a legislative emergency item. Cable operators have invested millions of dollars in private capital in recent years to help narrow the digital divide, and we look forward to working with the Governor and legislators to bring this vital service to even more unserved Texans," said the Texas Cable Association. 

"Texas Farm Bureau greatly appreciates Governor Abbott making broadband development a priority in our state. Over 88 percent of disconnected Texans live in rural areas. Broadband is essential to the quality of rural life and to modern agriculture. Broadband is critical for rural Texans to access education and healthcare. Texas farmers and ranchers need rural broadband to follow commodity markets, communicate with customers, and access new markets around the world. We thank Gov. Abbott for his leadership on this very important issue.” – Russell Boening, President, Texas Farm Bureau.

“The ATA applauds Governor Abbott for recognizing the unique role that telehealth can play in bringing quality care to those who need it most, including underserved and rural communities. As a result of the public health emergency, many of the challenges our healthcare system faces were brought to light, and telehealth was able to bridge many of the gaps in care delivery. We are also encouraged by Governor Abbott’s support for expanding broadband access, to close the ‘digital divide’ to help address the indefensible inequities that currently exist in healthcare. It is essential for states, such as Texas, to ensure telehealth remains available and becomes a permanent option for care delivery. The ATA is hopeful that the Texas state legislature will work with Governor Abbott to pass this needed telehealth legislation. We remain available to act as a resource to Texas policymakers and to policymakers in state capitals across the country," said Ann Mond Johnson, CEO of the American Telemedicine Association. 

"The chemical industry is a major economic engine for the State of Texas and the United States. As a critical infrastructure sector, we are proud of our Texas manufacturers who have persevered throughout the pandemic to supply personal protective equipment (PPE),  medical supplies & equipment, hand sanitizer, and other sanitizing products to protect our healthcare workers and first responders on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. We applaud Governor Abbott for his outstanding leadership throughout the pandemic, and for his commitment to keep the Texas economy open and to get our at-risk population vaccinated as quickly as possible," said Hector L. Rivero, President of the Texas Chemical Council. 

"The Texas Association of Counties applauds Gov. Greg Abbott for his leadership in designating expansion of broadband internet access as an emergency item in this legislative session. As the governor noted in his State of the State address, broadband is no longer a luxury. It is an essential tool. That tool – which is critical to our state’s economic development, telemedicine delivery and public education – must be more readily available in every part of our state. Over the past year, Texans in both urban and rural counties have come to learn the importance of reliable broadband access as both a resource and lifeline. County officials statewide look forward to working with Gov. Abbott and members of the Texas Legislature on an issue that is critical to all Texans," said the Texas Association of Counties.