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Cover Texas Now Coalition - January 26, 2017

Click here for printable PDF.

 2017 Legislative Agenda

Toward the goal of expanding health coverage to more Texans, the Cover Texas Now Coalition supports the following policy strategies and initiatives:  

Improve the health and well-being of Texans by ensuring access to affordable health care coverage:

a)    Create comprehensive coverage...

Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) - January 26, 2017

With the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Open Enrollment deadline just one week away, it’s important to outline how important the landmark health law has been for Texans. Over 1.1 million Texans have selected plans in the health insurance Marketplace so far, with 27 percent of them being new to the Marketplace this year.  In our […]

The post How an ACA Repeal Would Harm Texans appeared first on Better Texas Blog.

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

Building on the state’s recent progress in mental health capacity and quality is a top priority for lawmakers this Legislative Session, as identified in the interim report by the House Select Committee on Mental Health. CPPP is pleased to see this comprehensive and timely report. The report provides a detailed review of eight public hearings […]

The post Good News on Mental Health in Texas appeared first on Better Texas Blog.

Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) - January 23, 2017

Note: This post originally appeared on the Better Texas Blog.

On January 24, the Texas Senate Finance Committee will hear invited and public testimony on its 2018 and 2019 budget proposals for the Texas Education Agency, Teacher Retirement System, and other public school and higher education services that receive state funding. Public testimony on health and human services is scheduled ...

Texans Care for Children - January 23, 2017

This commentary originally appeared in the San Antonio Express-News.

For months, media outlets across the state have introduced Texans to children who could lose life-changing therapies because of new state Medicaid cuts.

Texans met Baylee, an 11-year-old girl with cerebral palsy who lives near Lubbock. She is unable to talk but has learned to communicate in other ways with her family thanks to Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) and regular therapy.

News outlets also introduced Texans to twins in Corpus Christi named Alyssa and Ava. When they were born three months premature, doctors told their mom the girls would never walk. Thanks to physical therapy, the 9-year-...

Cover Texas Now Coalition - January 13, 2017

While the recent focus has been on Washington, the state Legislature started its 140-day session on Tuesday. Here's a sample of key issues to keep an eye on:

Health Care...

Cover Texas Now Coalition - January 13, 2017

Hundreds of you responded to our December call to go to our Action Center and tell Congress not to repeal health coverage without replacing it at the same time. Since then, more and more people have raised their voices across the state and country.

And now a growing number of Republican Senators are expressing concern about plans to rush the repeal through Congress and figure out the...

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

In media coverage about what a full Affordable Care Act (ACA) repeal would mean for Americans, the focus is usually on two main topics: insurance companies not being able to deny anyone with a pre-existing condition coverage, and young adults may stay covered on their parents’ insurance until they reach age 26.  While those are […]

The post Affordable Care Act Repeal Would Mean Less Mental Health Coverage appeared first on Better Texas Blog.

Cover Texas Now Coalition - January 8, 2017

ACTION ALERT: U.S. Congressional leaders are moving swiftly to repeal large portions of the Affordable Care Act, jeopardizing health care for 20 million Americans...including nearly 3 million Texans. In response, the NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice is hosting a nationwide interfaith call in day on Monday, Jan. 9. Take action: Urge your U.S. senator to protect healthcare by...

Texans Care for Children - January 6, 2017

Mental health is shaping up to be a priority for the Texas Legislature in 2017. The new interim report by the House Select Committee on Mental Health highlights several key issues for lawmakers to address. This blog post highlights a few of the top subjects and addressed in the report.

The Big Picture

Addressing the landscape of mental health and state policy in Texas, the report notes:

It is important to note that while significant resources are currently being invested, the demand for services throughout the state continues to increase.As we head into the 85th Legislative Session, all indications are that mental/behavioral health funding for the 2018-2019 biennium budget will remain a is imperative that children and families receive...
Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) - December 22, 2016

Earlier this month, leaders from the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to all governors and state insurance commissioners requesting input on potential changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid. The U.S. Senate Committee on Finance sent a separate letter seeking similar input to members of the Republican Governor’s Association.

As Congress prepares to take up federal health care laws, the Cover Texas Now coalition submitted a detailed letter to Governor Abbott, and Texas Insurance and Health and Human...

Texas Impact - December 14, 2016

AUSTIN, Texas—(Dec. 14, 2016) New data analyses show that nearly 75 percent of Texas’ local taxing entities soon could have to increase taxes on property owners by more than 8 percent to continue vital health care services in their communities.

New report, Rocks in the Water: The Unseen Cost of Losing Federal Support for Uncompensated Care, now available.

Texas Impact - December 14, 2016

Resource Type: PublicationsResource File: Rocks_in_the_Water_Uncompensated_Care_Report.pdfFile Contents: 

Under current law and considering current trends in federal policy, changes in federal health care funding could result in the loss of up to $3.6 billion over the next two years in federal support for Texas hospitals and other safety net providers. Of this, about $2 billion would represent losses to local jurisdictions that levy property taxes to support hospitals. To make up the difference with local funds, city, county, and hospital district officials would have to increase property taxes an average of $0.05 (five cents) per $100 valuation—an additional $81 per year for the average Texas homeowner....

Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) - December 9, 2016

Over the next few months, I’ll be writing about “mental health parity.”  This first post explains what “parity” is.  Future posts will look at ongoing mental health parity issues and the intersection with the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—including how efforts to repeal or replace the ACA could weaken today’s parity rules. The idea behind mental […]

The post Equal Treatment for Mental Health Needs appeared first on Better Texas Blog.

Cover Texas Now Coalition - December 8, 2016

As the national health care debate kicks into high gear, here are four things that Texans need to know:

1. Repealing health coverage without immediately passing a replacement plan would eliminate insurance for 2.6 million Texans.

Congressional leaders and the President-elect have long talked about the need to “repeal and replace” the ACA.

Now they say they plan to pass...

Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) - December 8, 2016

This post was written by Melissa McChesney and it’s the third post in our Countdown to Coverage series.  Since the ACA was implemented, Texas has seen historic reductions in the number of uninsured in our state. From 2013 to 2015, the uninsured rate in Texas dropped a total of 5 percentage points, with 1.1 million fewer uninsured […]

The post Texas Has a Lot to Lose with a full ACA Repeal appeared first on Better Texas Blog.

Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) - December 7, 2016

December 7, 2016

A new report by the Urban Institute estimates that 2.55 million Texans would lose their coverage if Congress follows through with its plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act without immediately replacing it, causing the number of uninsured Texans to grow from 4.4 million to 6.9 million people. Texas would also lose $62 billion in federal health care funding over a...

Texas Impact - December 1, 2016

Our first annual Health Justice Sabbath weekend was a huge success! People of faith across Texas gathered to pray, study, and take action to support health care for all Texans.

Texans Care for Children - November 28, 2016

By Adriana Kohler, Kate Murphy, and Josette Saxton

There may not be any crystal balls that can tell you what’s going to happen during the next legislative session, but the interim reports produced by Texas House and Senate Committees can provide some important insight into legislators’ priorities for the next year. 

So if you want to get a preview of how legislators will address Medicaid, mental health, CPS, women’s health, and other key issues, we recommend taking a look at the new 152-page interim report from the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.

Like other interim reports, this one reflects the hearings and research the Committee conducted over the course of 2016 on “interim charges” assigned by the Lt. Governor and the views of the Committee Chair, in this case Senator...

Texans Care for Children - November 23, 2016

Download This Policy Brief

Heading into the 2017 legislative session, a few children’s policy issues have dominated the past year’s headlines, legislative hearings, and Texas leaders’ statements about their current priorities:

1. Protecting services for children with disabilities and developmental delays is a top priority in 2017 following the outcry from legislators, parents, community leaders, and others about the loss of therapies for children with disabilities and the recent findings that enrollment of babies and toddlers in Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) has fallen sharply.

2. Protecting children from neglect and abuse and ensuring they are safe and successful if they enter foster...