Identification and pattern of factors influencing health care legislation in the State of Texas
The qualitative investigation was undertaken to identify and categorize factors influencing the political decision-making process as it related to health care in Texas. Collection of data was accomplished in two phases. Phase One involved personal interviews with members of the Texas Senate. Participants in Phase One ranged in age from 35 to 64 years. Seven participants were Democrats, one was Republican. One participant was female, seven were male. Time served in office by the Senators ranged from 1 year to 20 years. The interviews were conducted in person and an eight-item interview guide was utilized to elicit the data. A verbatim transcript was made of each interview and these transcripts were subjected to semantic content analysis at the manifest level.
Results of the content analysis indicated that five factors were identified by the participants as influencing health care legislation in Texas. These factors, in order of importance were: Demonstrated Need, Money, Effectiveness of Exponents, Philosophy or Political Ideology, and Party Politics.
Phase Two of the investigation entailed collecting data from 17 Texas Senators who were not interviewed during the first phase ofthe study. Participants in Phase Two ranged in age from 34 to 64 years. Three participants were Republican, fourteen were Democrats. All participants in Phase Two were male. Length of time in office ranged from 1 to 20 years. Data was gathered in the form of telephone interviews and an interview guide was utilized to elicit the data. Fifty-five percent of the participants in Phase Two concurred with the five factors identified by their colleagues. They also agreed that the rank-order of the factors was correct.
From this research, five factors were identified as having an impact on health care legislation in the state of Texas. A sequence or pattern for these factors was also determined. The factor, in rank order of importance, from most to least important were: Demonstrated Need, Money, Effectiveness of Exponents, Philosophy or Political Ideology, and Party Politics.