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Cover Texas Now Coalition - May 3, 2012

Dear Cheasty,

I have a question about ObamaCare: What will it cost over 10 years, and how many will it cover?  I’d also like to know the same about Paul Ryan’s proposed health “reform.”

Sincerely,
Captain Comparison

Dear Captain Comparison,

As I’m sure you’re aware, comparing Obama’s health reform law to the proposal by Rep. Paul Ryan is a classic case...

Cover Texas Now Coalition - April 30, 2012

Earlier this month, our campaign reported that Governor Perry called a program more than 3.5 million Texans rely on for health care a "time bomb." Which Texans, you might ask? Almost half of all children and several hundred thousand vulnerable adults, nearly all of them expectant mothers, Texans with disabilities, or poor seniors, a lot of them in nursing homes.

The program is Medicaid...

Cover Texas Now Coalition - April 27, 2012

I have always aimed to work for a large company. This was as much to maximize my career potential as it was to find a good-paying job. I was taught by my father to look at the intangibles when negotiating compensation, not the least of which was health insurance benefits.

When I was diagnosed with diabetes shortly before graduating from college, I was still in a sweet spot for coverage...

Cover Texas Now Coalition - April 24, 2012

Dear Cheasty-

My sister is 45 and had no insurance through her job (she is a Licensed Social Worker, has worked for MHMR for years) and was recently diagnosed with Stage IV Gastric Cancer. Her bills for diagnosis and surgery have probably topped $150K so far; she is on her 2nd round of chemo. She had enough leave time that she got her last paycheck this month; so she won't qualify for...

Cover Texas Now Coalition - April 20, 2012

lottery-e1334866484885-112x150_2.jpg Last week I met up with my friend Ben, a 26-year-old construction worker. His hand was wrapped in bandages. When I asked about his injury, he laughed and said it was the result of a stupid mistake.

A week earlier, while doing demolition, Ben reached over to pull out a piece of ceramic, still attached to the wall. Had it...

Cover Texas Now Coalition - April 17, 2012

Health Insurance lingo has always been somewhat complicated and confusing, but with the passage of the Affordable Care Act it is increasingly important for the average Joe six-pack American (borrowing from a famous Alaskan governor) to understand this terminology. As the Affordable Care Act continues to be implemented, these terms will be used to define certain components of the bill.  Here's...

Cover Texas Now Coalition - April 9, 2012

Of all the major changes to both health care budgets and policy that emerged from the last Texas legislative session, the single most dramatic impact is that Medicaid -- comprising less than 19% of our state’s budget -- received about 30% of the cuts taken to offset the state's $23 billion revenue hole.

In case you missed it - here's a detailed analysis of changes to health care in...

Cover Texas Now Coalition - March 29, 2012

The following is PART 3 of a "Waiver Watch" series contributed by Anne Dunkelberg, Center for Public Policy Priorities.

Since my last Waiver Watch post:

HHSC held a March meeting of their Executive Waiver Committee (EWC) working group for the Hospital waiver, The “Clinical Champion” working group has worked with HHSC to develop a draft menu of service/payment/delivery reforms, and...
Cover Texas Now Coalition - March 21, 2012

As law’s second anniversary approaches, 7.5 Million Texans enjoy benefits already

March 20, 2012                                                Contact: Christine Sinatra    (512) 473-2274      

AUSTIN — Texas is one of the biggest winners under health care reform, with more of its residents benefiting from provisions of the federal law than is true for almost any other...

Cover Texas Now Coalition - March 20, 2012

Dear Texas,

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Happy 2nd Birthday Health Reform!

Usually in this column, you ask me questions about health care and I answer them. This week, however, is different. This week is BIG. So big, in fact, that I’m going to switch things up a little bit and I am going to ask you a question. Are you ready for it? OK, here it goes:

...

Cover Texas Now Coalition - March 19, 2012

MEDIA ADVISORY

Please join Texas Well and Healthy on Tuesday, March 20, at 10:30 a.m. for a discussion of how the Affordable Care Act is helping Texas families, as you consider and prepare reports for the second anniversary of the health law’s passage and the Supreme Court hearing on the law in the days ahead.

WHO:  Texas Well and Healthy, a statewide grassroots campaign of...

Cover Texas Now Coalition - March 13, 2012

(Editor’s Note:  The real-life letter from “Ticked off” below has been edited to make the language more suitable for general audiences.)

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Photo Credit: emily_jillian under a Creative Commons License

Dear Cheasty,

WTH. I hate health insurance companies. I used to be covered by my father’s insurance, but I just...

Cover Texas Now Coalition - March 7, 2012

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Rallying for Women's Health - Austin, TX

Dear Cheasty,

Over the past few days I’ve heard some stuff in the news about Texas and how we’re going to cancel our Women’s Health Program. I don’t understand. In the first place, what is the WHP, exactly? Also, depending on who is talking, I can’t really tell whether...

Cover Texas Now Coalition - March 2, 2012

Health reform to provide new alternatives in 2014

AUSTIN — On February 23, the Center for Public Policy Priorities highlighted a new national report that shows employer provided health coverage has been on the decline over the last decade, and Texans are among the Americans least likely to be covered by their job, or by their spouse or parent’s job. The report, released by the Economic Policy...

Cover Texas Now Coalition - February 29, 2012

At the Capitol this week, supporters of Texas Well and Healthy touted benefits of the Affordable Care Act, a law that has already improved the lives of more than 6 million Texans. Here we offer excerpts of what just a handful of Texans affected by the law shared with decision-makers.

Texan Mike Siegel explained what the law means for his small business and others like his:

...
Cover Texas Now Coalition - February 24, 2012

AUSTIN - There isn't any state whose people have more to gain from health reform than Texas. Our kids, families, and young adults already are getting better bargains and reliability in their health care, while more benefits kick in during 2014.

On Monday, February 27, the Insurance Committee and the Public Health Committee of the Texas House are set to hold a joint hearing on the state'...

Cover Texas Now Coalition - February 22, 2012

Contributed by: Anne Dunkelberg, Center for Public Policy Priorities

Last week, I promised to come up with shorthand names to help us distinguish between the two different Medicaid 1115 waivers. To avoid wonky acronyms, I've decided to call the new waiver that the feds approved in December 2011—formally named, “Texas Healthcare Transformation and Quality Improvement Program”—the “...

Cover Texas Now Coalition - February 21, 2012

Dear Cheasty,

If my employer offers a pretty standard level of health insurance, will there be any changes to my plan when health reform is implemented in 2014? Do I get to keep that insurance plan if I like it? Will I see any benefit as an 'average insured American' who receives employer sponsored coverage?  Thanks!

Anxious in Austin

Dear Anxious,

Great news for...

Cover Texas Now Coalition - February 20, 2012

Cover Texas Now member Texas Impact has joined more than sixty national, state and local organizations in filing an amicus (friend of the court) brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Medicaid expansions in the Affordable Care Act. The brief argues that these expansions more completely address the original intent of Medicaid - to fulfill the moral imperative to assist those who are...

Cover Texas Now Coalition - February 17, 2012

In December, federal Medicaid officials approved a Texas request for a Medicaid waiver officially named “Texas Healthcare Transformation and Quality Improvement Program.”  This waiver lets Texas Medicaid expand HMO-style care to more Texans without losing large federal payments to hospitals.  In return for keeping those federal dollars, Texas will re-purpose them into a fund to help pay...

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