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Coalition Blog

Last night Congressional leaders caved to the most radical members of Congress and made a bad health care bill even worse.

Not only does the bill raise premiums and deductibles and cut coverage for 24 million people. Now it also lets insurance companies stop offering basic services like maternity care, check-ups for kids, prescription drugs, or even hospital or doctor visits.


Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) - March 24, 2017

failure to adopt this proposal in its current form could mean that more than half a million Texans lose access to health care

The post House Budget Proposals: Using Rainy Day Fund Critical to Health Care & Education appeared first on Better Texas Blog.

Texans Care for Children - March 22, 2017

For Immediate Release
CONTACT:  Peter Clark, 512-417-9262

AUSTIN - Today the Texas Senate Finance Committee passed its budget proposal for the 2018-2019 biennium on a 15-0 vote. Following the vote, Stephanie Rubin, CEO of Texans Care for Children, released the following statement:

"We appreciate the hard work that Senators have put into writing this budget. We know the job was particularly difficult this year because past Legislatures reduced available revenue by cutting business taxes and creating an automatic funding carve out for highways.

"We're glad to see the Senate make a significant investment in improving foster care reimbursement rates and stabilizing the workforce at CPS. These investments will go a long way towards keeping kids safe and ensuring more kids can succeed if they enter foster care.

"We're also pleased to see other improvements over the Senate's...

Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) - March 22, 2017

Today the Senate Finance Committee approved its substitute for the Senate budget proposal (Senate Bill 1), the General Appropriations Act for 2018 and 2019. Total spending proposed for the next budget cycle in SB 1 is $217.7 billion, a 0.7 percent increase compared to the $216 billion in state and federal revenue budgeted for 2016-17. This means a real spending drop of almost eight percent, once population growth and inflation are taken into account. Total General Revenue spending would be $106.3 billion, which would be a 1.6 percent drop from 2016-17 even before any population or inflation adjustment.

The post First Look — Senate Budget Update Improves Health, Higher Ed. Funding appeared first on Better Texas Blog.

Texans Care for Children - March 22, 2017

A few weeks ago, a burly police detective in a coat and tie sat at a wooden table with his wife and squirmy 16-month-old daughter, Sully, explaining to state Senators what it meant to hear his little girl cry.

He described to the Texas Senate Finance Committee the joy of hearing Sully cry for the first time after she was silent for the first few months of life. Since then, Sully, who has Down syndrome, has had many more breakthroughs thanks to the family's hard work and the support provided by Sully's therapists.

But Sully's family didn't drive to Austin just to tell a heartwarming story. They told the Senate budget-writers that Sully's progress, and the progress of other kids, was now in jeopardy because the Legislature cut Medicaid funding for therapies for kids with disabilities.

And it wasn't just Sully's family. A parade of families has shared similar stories with the Legislature and in newspapers across Texas, provoking outrage...

Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) - March 22, 2017

In December 2016 Congress delivered on a long-standing promise to overhaul the country’s mental health system by passing the 21st Century Cures Act, an achievement that Speaker Paul Ryan called “the most significant reform in a decade.”[1] The Act authorized treatment and prevention programs and created a new Assistant Secretary for mental health at the […]

The post Impact of ACA repeal and replace legislation on Mental Health appeared first on Better Texas Blog.

Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) - March 21, 2017

Last week’s Congressional Budget Office (CBO) official “score” for the House’s ACA Repeal bill found that it would cut Medicaid spending by 880 billion over 10 years, with 14 million fewer Americans receiving Medicaid coverage in 2026 than under current federal law. The bill also slashes today’s tax credit subsidies for health insurance by 44%, […]

The post Repeal Bill Threatens Texas Medicaid appeared first on Better Texas Blog.

The U.S. House of Representatives is preparing to vote soon on the health care repeal bill. Here's a quick rundown on the bill and some of the reasons we need to stop it.

- The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 24 million Americans will lose health coverage by 2026 if the bill passes. The Houston Chronicle reports that half a million Texans could lose coverage.

- The...

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is aiming to hold the vote on the health care repeal bill on Thursday if he can count up enough votes to support it!

It's going to come down to a handful of votes.

So now is the time to call Congress at 866-426-2631, alert your friends, get on social media, visit the local office for your member of Congress, or raise your voice in your own way....

Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) - March 17, 2017

House Bill 1486, sponsored by Chairman Four Price, has been referred to the House Committee on Public Health on March 21. The common-sense proposal would give more access to peer support services to Texans in need of mental health and substance use disorder services.  Mental health peer support is a cost-effective, evidence-based practice in which […]

The post Increasing Access to Mental Health Peer Support Services appeared first on Better Texas Blog.

Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) - March 16, 2017

The Congressional health care proposal is not a real plan for maintaining or increasing health care coverage in this country. It's an ill-conceived scheme that would massively expand the uninsured population and threaten Americans' well-being.

The post Congressional health scheme would cause 24 million in U.S. to lose insurance appeared first on Better Texas Blog.

Texans Care for Children - March 14, 2017

At this point, you've probably learned that the Obamacare repeal plan in Congress is expected to make private health insurance more expensive and out of reach for millions of Americans. In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) just announced that it expects 24 million fewer Americans to have health insurance in 2026 if the bill passes.

But did you know that the bill includes a provision to permanently...

On Monday night, Republican leaders in the U.S. House filed their health care repeal bill.

After a busy week, including votes in two House Committees, the bill now goes to the Budget Committee. The Committee includes two Texans: Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (representing part of Houston) and Rep. Jodey Arrington (representing Lubbock, Abilene, and nearby communities).

Some analysts...

What a day!

On Monday, about one thousand Texans came together at the state Capitol on a beautiful day to fight for health care.

We had a fired up crowd and moving speakers at our rally. We held a number of meetings with key legislative offices. We had Texans from all over the state raise their voices on social media or through phone calls to Congress. And our rally and message...

Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) - March 9, 2017

By Anne Dunkelberg This week I joined CPPP Senior Policy Analyst Stacey Pogue for a Facebook Live discussion about what Congressional health care proposals might mean for Texas. You can watch a recording of the discussion here. Overall: The most distressing part of the Congressional plan is that it doesn’t provide a pathway to reach […]

The post VIDEO: What does the Congressional health care proposal mean for Texas? appeared first on Better Texas Blog.

Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) - March 8, 2017

Surprise medical bills happen when insurers and doctors or other health care providers – fighting over prices – jointly pass the buck to a patient, who received out-of-network health care unknowingly. Texas technically has a “mediation” system for surprise medical bills but the hurdles patients must overcome just to get in the door, prevent most […]

The post Hopeful legislation could help address our Texas-sized surprise medical billing problem appeared first on Better Texas Blog.

Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) - March 3, 2017

As CPPP’s Stacey Pogue recently explained, U.S. House leaders are expected to file legislation within days that will begin to repeal and “replace” the Affordable Care Act (“ACA” or Obamacare). Based on an outline made public in February, the bill is expected to result in fewer people being able to afford insurance—especially low- and moderate-income […]

The post Congressional Medicaid Proposals Would Mean Big Cuts to Medicaid, Higher Costs for Texas appeared first on Better Texas Blog.

Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) - March 1, 2017

Congressional Republicans are reportedly adding to an initial plan to repeal and “replace” the Affordable Care Act (“ACA” or Obamacare), which will result in fewer people being able to afford insurance—especially low- and moderate-income individuals—and insurance plans that cover less. The plan certainly fails to live up to President Trump’s vow that the ACA replacement […]

The post Congress’ Latest ACA “Replacement” Plan Falls Far Short appeared first on Better Texas Blog.

Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) - February 27, 2017

Early this month the Senate confirmed Dr. Tom Price, a former Congressman from Georgia, as the new Secretary of Health and Human Services. During his confirmation hearing Price said he was committed to, “making certain that every single American has access to the kind of coverage that they want and has the financial feasibility to […]

The post New ACA Marketplace Rules, Good for Insurance Companies Bad for Consumers appeared first on Better Texas Blog.

Texans Care for Children - February 23, 2017

Testimony to the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Article II

Texans Care for Children is committed to ensuring that the state adequately invests in children so they can stay healthy, grow up to achieve their goals, and help build a bright future for Texas. We thank the Legislature for its continued commitment to Texas’ women’s health programs that ensure more Texas mothers and babies are healthy and are critical for the state’s fiscal health. Key improvements are needed in the Article II budget – including Medicaid, CHIP, and Early Childhood Intervention – to make sure vital programs are sustainable through the 2018-2019 biennium. Underfunding programs that are critical for kids and pregnant women is an unwise step that puts access to services at risk. Continued investment in these programs saves the state money by preventing poor outcomes, such as premature birth, birth defects, pregnancy complications, and by helping young children...