Medicaid

Politics
6:05 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Expanded Asset Tests for Medicaid Proposed

Making more people eligible for Medicaid has been controversial at the Capitol.
Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

The state of Texas has not joined in the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. At the Conservative Political Action Conference late last week, Gov. Rick Perry said he would not let Texas join the expansion unless the federal government tailored the program for this state.

Perry gave a list of requirements for Texas to join the Medicaid expansion. Many were items he’s demanded in the past, but one in particular caught the ear of those who support expansion.

“We need to asset-test to make sure care is there for those who really need it most,” Perry said at CPAC.

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Health
5:00 am
Thu March 21, 2013

Medicaid Expansion Debate Could Focus on Asset Tests

Texas lawmakers have ideas to keep the healthcare law out of the state.
Texas Tribune

The state of Texas has not joined in the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. At the Conservative Political Action Conference late last week, Governor Rick Perry said he would not let Texas join the expansion unless the Federal government tailored the program for this state.

When Governor Perry spoke at CPAC last week, he gave a list of requirements for Texas to join in Medicaid expansion. Many were items he’s demanded in the past, but one in particular caught the ear of those who support expansion.

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Politics
4:33 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Policy Group Supports Perry on Medicaid Expansion

Expanding Medicaid eligibility is a non-starter for top Texas officials.
Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

A report released today by the Texas Public Policy Foundation criticizes the state’s Medicaid program, calling its access to healthcare providers “inadequate” and its health outcomes “poor.”

Gov. Rick Perry has refused to accept federal money to expand access to Medicaid, citing much the same reasons.

Perry says he would prefer a “block grant” of the federal money, allowing Texas to decide how best to spend it.

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PolitiFact
5:45 am
Wed March 20, 2013

PolitiFact: Texas Has Highest Percentage of Uninsured

PolitiFact found that Texas has the highest percentage of uninsured, but not the highest number
KUT News

Gov. Rick Perry is holding firm to his decision to rebuff any Medicaid expansion under the federal health care law. One lawmaker says expansion is necessary – because Texas has six million uninsured residents– and that makes the state No. 1 in the nation.

How true is that statement?

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Politics
4:30 pm
Thu March 14, 2013

Perry Reaffirms Opposition to Medicaid Expansion at CPAC

Rick Perry is the last large-state governor to reject a Medicaid expansion.
KUT News

Gov. Rick Perry reiterated his stance against Medicaid expansion today at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, known as CPAC. Texas is the last large state still opting out of the expansion of Medicaid to people earning more than traditional recipients who still cannot afford private insurance.

In his speech, Perry chastised other Republican governors who he said have “folded in the face of federal bribery.”

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Politics
5:30 pm
Fri March 8, 2013

Agenda Texas: Waiting for Expansion

Alexandria Garza plays with her 6-year-old daughter Lasselia
Texas Well and Healthy Coalition

A new Gallup poll out this morning says almost 29 percent of Texans don’t have health insurance. That easily puts Texas at the highest percentage of uninsured in the country. And the highest Gallup has ever recorded in Texas.

About a million of those uninsured could find coverage under Medicaid expansion, if Governor Rick Perry were to allow it. So let’s meet a couple of the people hoping he’ll change his mind.

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Health
6:13 pm
Tue March 5, 2013

March for Texas Expanding Medicaid

Austin City Council Member Mike Martinez was one of the lawmakers speaking in support of Medicaid expansion today.
Mike Martinez via Facebook

Supporters of Texas expanding access to Medicaid, among them representatives of Planned Parenthood, marched up Congress Avenue Tuesday to the Capitol steps.

They’re calling on Texas lawmakers to accept Federal money as part of the Affordable Care Act to get healthcare to more than a million Texans who otherwise would not have it.

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Health
3:10 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

GOP Caucus Opposes Medicaid Expansion - With Caveats

So far, Gov. Rick Perry is standing firm on not expanding Medicaid, and has not expressed particular interest in any other states' compromises.
Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

House Republicans on Monday agreed not to expand Medicaid as called for under the federal Affordable Care Act — but left the door open to doing it if the Obama administration grants Texas enough flexibility.

“The current path as proposed is unsustainable from a fiscal standpoint,” said caucus chairman Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe. He said the caucus would continue to “propose solutions on the issue, which we’re formulating and will continue to do so throughout the session.” 

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Health
2:02 pm
Mon March 4, 2013

Senators’ Diagnosis: State Health Head Janek Fit to Lead

The Senate Nominations committee met today to confirm Dr. Kyle Janek as head of the Department of State Health Services.
Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

The Texas Senate's Nominations committee confirmed Gov. Rick Perry’s appointment of Dr. Kyle Janek as the head of the state’s largest healthcare service provider for low-income and aging Texans – the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

Janek spoke to Sen. Jane Nelson about the future of funding and providing Medicaid services for Texans, asserting that the state should take a more streamlined approach to providing and funding healthcare.

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Texas
5:35 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Advocates Rally for More Mental Health Funding

NAMI and other mental health groups joined lawmakers and advocates at the capitol to rally for increased funding
Marissa Barnett, KUT News

Advocates and lawmakers rallied at the Texas Capitol today to urge more state funding for mental health services.

Texas now ranks 49th in per capita spending for mental health care services. 

In the last session, the legislature made few changes to mental health funding. But as Texas’ population grows, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) policy coordinator Greg Hansch says mental health spending also has to increase.

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Health
7:51 pm
Tue February 26, 2013

Texas Hospitals Hope Perry Follows New Jersey on Medicaid Expansion

Daniel Reese, KUT News

New Jersey’s Chris Christie is the latest Republican Governor to change his mind and accept the federal Medicaid expansion in his state. The move is emboldening groups in Texas who would like to see Governor Perry also accept the provision of the Affordable Care Act.

John Hawkins is a policy analyst with the Texas Hospital Association. He says hospitals in the state provide $5 billion annually in uncompensated care.

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Austin
10:03 am
Fri February 22, 2013

The Lead: Lawmakers Warm Up to Medicaid, UT Plans Day of Service

Texas is still holding out on an expansion of medicaid.
flickr.com/blakespot

Good morning, and happy Friday! Austinites are in for a cold and gusty day, with a high of 64 degrees and winds at 20 miles per hour according to the National Weather Service.

Lead Story: Texas is now the last big state to hold out against a push to expand Medicaid, after Florida Governor Rick Scott announced he would push for expansion.

Some Texas lawmakers, including Governor Rick Perry, are still firmly against expanding Medicaid. But others might be changing their minds. For example, State Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, says she is all about flexibility.

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Politics
5:01 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Lawmakers Consider Medicaid Expansion Possibilities

Texas is now the only big state to reject expansion of Medicaid.
Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

On Wednesday, Florida Governor Rick Scott announced he would push lawmakers in his state to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. That decision leaves Texas the last big state to hold out and could mean more pressure on officials here.

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Politics
6:13 pm
Thu February 21, 2013

House OKs Stopgap Funding for Medicaid

The budget for Medicaid had fallen $4 billion short.
Liang Shi, KUT News

The Texas House voted today to close a $4 billion gap in the budget to pay for Medicaid, the health care program for the poor and disabled.

The House passed an emergency spending bill to make up for a shortfall in the 2011 state budget.

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Politics
7:24 pm
Wed February 20, 2013

Perry Stands Firm on Rejecting Medicaid Expansion

Texas Governor Rick Perry listens as the Texas Department of Public Safety graduates a class of 74 new state troopers Wednesday at the Texas Capitol on Dec. 19, 2012.
Bob Daemmrich

Just six months ago, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Florida Gov. Rick Scott were fishing together on FoxNews, pitching then-presidential contender Mitt Romney’s Medicare plan and arguing that decisions about health care should be made by states, not the federal government.

On Wednesday, Scott reversed course, joining a growing number of Republican governors who are reluctantly embracing the key tenet of President Obama’s federal health reform — a sweeping Medicaid expansion.

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Politics
5:11 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Lawmakers Working to Pay Medicaid Bill

KUT News

  The Texas House Appropriations Committee voted out an emergency supplemental spending bill this morning. The bill would fund the state’s Medicaid services for the rest of the current budget.

Almost all of the $4.8 billion bill goes to pay for the state’s Medicaid services. Lawmakers purposely underfunded the program by 6 months in 2011 as part of $27 billion cut from the state budget due to a dramatic drop in state revenue.

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Politics
2:35 pm
Fri January 25, 2013

Will Texas Reverse Decision, Provide Medicaid To 1.5 Million?

Shelley Kofler KERA News

Originally published on Fri January 25, 2013 7:45 pm

Governor Rick Perry is adamant, Texas will not make Medicaid available to more Texans by taking part in a federal program. But recently other Republican governors in Nevada and Arizona have changed their minds, saying they can’t ignore the billions of federal dollars they’d lose by opting out.

Lawmakers in Austin are now debating what Texas should do, including a senator from  Greenville who also wears a stethoscope.  

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Politics
4:00 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

No Medicaid Expansion in Texas, Dewhurst Says

The state will not make more people eligible for Medicaid next year.
Texas Tribune

State Senate leaders say they want to improve the quality of Medicaid in Texas, but that doesn’t mean expanding it to cover more people.

The Affordable Care Act would broaden the pool of people who qualify for Medicaid in 2014 in states that choose to do that. But Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst says an expansion in Texas is off the table.

Dewhurst says he doesn’t support what he calls a “one size fits all plan” for Medicaid.

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Health
5:53 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Does Texas Medicaid Spend Too Much on Braces?

Does Texas account for more Medicaid dental costs than any other state?

A new study by The Pew Center on the States gave Texas “D” for its pediatric dental health.  This as a leading state legislator says the state of Texas spent more Medicaid money on orthodontia for children than all the other states--combined.

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Health
9:55 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Texas Democrats See Path to Medicaid Expansion

Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

Despite Gov. Rick Perry’s firm opposition to a key tenet of federal health reform — expanding the state’s Medicaid program for those with low incomes — Texas Democrats remain optimistic that the 2013 legislative session can yield a deal that brings in billions in additional federal dollars.

It will be a tough sell: No Republican lawmakers have gone on record supporting the Medicaid expansion, which would add an estimated 1.8 million Texans onto the joint state-federal health plan by 2022.

But state Sen. Rodney Ellis, D-Houston, said fiscal conservatives have an incentive to reach an agreement “because the alternative is going to cost us much more economically and dig a much deeper hole in our budget.”

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