Cover Texas Now Coverage Expansion Advocacy Day Resource Center

Cover Texas Now will be at the Capitol Thursday, March 12 at 10AM!

The goal of the day will be to bring a public, statewide voice to the Capitol regarding the need to close the Coverage Gap for low-income workers, caretakers, college students and Texans living with disabilities.

Resources:


Postcard Resources

Postcard Request Form Available Now!

Postcard Kit PDFs and mailing labels now available online.


Supplementary Materials

Supplementary materials COMING SOON.

Press Release: 13 Children’s & Health Care Groups Issue Joint Statement on Lt. Governor’s Medicaid Proposal

For Immediate Release
March 2, 2015
Contact: Oliver Bernstein, Bernstein@cppp.org, 512-289-8618
Tiffany Hogue, thogue@organizetexas.org, 832-524-7045
Patrick Bresette, pbresette@childrensdefense.org, 512-925-8125

13 Children’s & Health Care Groups Issue Joint Statement on Lt. Governor’s Medicaid Proposal

Austin-Today Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and Senate Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Charles Schwertner announced that they are seeking from the federal government an exemption from current health care protections and permission to add additional restrictions to the state's Medicaid program. Ninety-six percent of the Texans served by the state’s current Medicaid program are low-income children, pregnant women, the elderly, and Texans with disabilities.

Following the announcement, the 13 Texas organizations listed below issued the following statement:

Low-income children, pregnant women, the elderly, and Texans with disabilities don't need more hoops to jump through. Like all Texans, they need to be able to see a doctor when they're sick, fill their prescriptions, and get other critical medical care.

Texas already has one of the most bare bones Medicaid programs in the country, denying coverage to nearly all low-income parents and workers despite the availability of federal funds intended to cover them.

The officials’ announcement decries increased enrollment in Texas Medicaid, despite the fact that enrollment growth has been almost entirely through coverage of children, dropping the uninsured rate of Texas children from 25% in 1997 to 13% of all kids in 2013.  The authors ask to be exempt from the Affordable Care Act's "maintenance of effort" requirements, which are designed to protect children's health care coverage.

The real health care crisis in our state is that so many Texans don't have access to health insurance, putting them and their families at risk while forcing other Texans to cover unpaid hospital bills through higher premiums and property taxes.

Health Savings Accounts and other requirements have been included in the plans conservative states have negotiated with the federal government for extending coverage to low-income adult workers, but these requirements are ill-suited for the vulnerable Texans served by the state's current bare bones Medicaid program.

The proposal to squeeze a few extra dollars out of low-income children, pregnant women, the elderly, and Texans with disabilities, announced the same week the Senate Finance Committee plans to consider tax cuts for some of the state's largest businesses, represents the wrong priorities for Texas.

Rather than casting blame on the federal government, children, pregnant women, the elderly, and Texans with disabilities, we encourage our state leaders to listen to Texas doctors, Chambers of Commerce, county judges, and others who are calling for a plan to accept our share of new Medicaid funding for uninsured workers and parents.

Texans who agree that state leaders should develop a plan to close the Coverage Gap are invited to join business leaders, health care leaders, uninsured Texans, and others at Cover Texas Now’s Advocacy Day at the state Capitol on March 12. More information is available at texaswellandhealthy.org.

Signed by:

Tom Watkins, Chairman, State Advocacy & Governmental Affairs Committee, March of Dimes

Jose E. Camacho, Executive Director and General Counsel, Texas Association of Community Health Centers

Simone Nichols-Segers, Government Activism Coordinator, National MS Society

Tod Marvin, President & CEO, Easter Seals Central Texas

Eileen Garcia, CEO, Texans Care for Children

Patrick Bresette, Executive Director, Children's Defense Fund-Texas

Ana R. DeFrates, Director, Texas Latina Advocacy Network (LAN) Policy & Advocacy for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health

Bee Moorhead, Executive Director, Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy/Texas Impact

Miriam Nisenbaum, Executive Director, National Association of Social Workers – Texas Chapter

Anne Dunkelberg, Associate Director, Center for Public Policy Priorities

José Eduardo Sánchez, Southern Director, Young Invincibles

Tiffany Hogue, Campaign Director, Texas Organizing Project

Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Executive Director/CEO and Co-Founder, MomsRising.org

Also available: an infographic on the Coverage Gap and a list of organizations that have called on state leaders to ensure Texas workers have a health coverage option.

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New Resources and Infographics on the Texas Coverage Gap

Get them while they're hot! We have fresh infographics and resources for you to use in your work towards expanding the Texas Coverage Gap. They answer questions like, who does the Coverage Gap impact? What occupations are most affected? What can the Texas Legislature do?

Click on the links below to download.

Downloads:

The Benefits of Closing the Coverage Gap in Anderson County (pdf)

The Texas Coverage Gap (pdf)

We Can Strengthen Families and Our State's Economy brochure (pdf)

Register for March 12th Coverage Expansion Advocacy Day

We are excited to announce that registration is officially open for our Coverage Expansion Advocacy Day. The goal of the day will be to bring a public, statewide voice to the Capitol regarding the need to close the Coverage Gap for low-income workers, caretakers, college students and Texans living with disabilities. 

We will meet at the state Capitol at 10:00 am on March 12 and finish at 3:30 pm. Please register here if you plan on attending, or would like to get involved. Some different ways of participating include

Resources & Materials: How You Can Get Involved!

Following the 2014 Cover Texas Now summit on connecting Texans with health care coverage on October 14, we've shared some resources, materials and opportunities for you to get active in your hometown or at the Texas Capitol, as an individual or as an organization. We've also included all the presentations from the summit, so check them out now!

Sign on to the Cover Texas Now 2015 Legislative Agenda

We invite you to support our advocacy by signing on to our 2015 Legislative Agenda. We look forward to building our membership among more groups sharing our commitment to covering more Texans, from Medicaid-CHIP to the Marketplace.

For this legislative session, we are offering 2 options for organizations to sign on to the Cover Texas Now legislative agenda:
1.    sign on to the Cover Texas Now legislative agenda, and be listed as a Cover Texas Now member;
2.    or, simply sign on to the Cover Texas Now legislative agenda. Any organization that supports this year’s legislative agenda is welcome to sign on, not just Cover Texas Now members. You do not need to be a coalition member to support the coalition principles. This is a change from the process in previous years.

You can see the most recent list of CTN members and the shared principles online.

Texas Should Accept Federal Health Care Funds to Close the Coverage Gap

Click here for a printable one pager on the Coverage Gap. Texas Left Me Out

Uninsured low-income workers can now buy reduced-price coverage in the health care Marketplace if their income is above the poverty line. But for uninsured workers earning less than $12,000 per year or $24,000 for a family of four, affordable insurance is only available if Texas accepts federal health care funds. Because Texas has not accepted the funds yet, a million Texans are in the Coverage Gap. As a result, Texans pay taxes twice for health care for these low-wage workers. We pay federal taxes, but these benefits only go to states that accept them. So we also pay high property taxes for local health programs and hospitals.

Texas Left Me Out: Letter To Legislators

Today more than 40 Texas health care advocacy organizations, faith and community groups launched Texas Left Me Out, a campaign in English and Spanish to collect stories from uninsured Texans left in the coverage gap and connect them with available health care options and advocacy efforts.

While thousands of Texans living above the poverty line are successfully purchasing health plans on the Marketplace and getting help to pay for them, more than one million of Texas’ poorest adults are still being left out due to Texas’ choice to refuse billions of federal dollars to extend coverage to them. 

Download the PDF. (Right-click and choose "Save Link As...")


Cover Texas Now members provide testimony on flawed Navigator rule proposal

The Texas Department of Insurance recently held two hearings on proposed rules to regulate navigators in Texas (read more about the proposed rules in the post below).  Navigators under Affordable Care Act are community organizations, such as the United Way, that receive federal funding to help uninsured individuals learn about and enroll in health coverage through Health Insurance Marketplace.  Health insurance policies and choices can be confusing, especially for people who are not familiar with health insurance.  Navigators provide in-person assistance through the process.

Members of the Cover Texas Now coalition provided testimony at the hearings:

State’s Navigator Rule Could Impede Health Insurance Enrollment

By Stacey Pogue, Senior Policy Analyst, Center for Public Policy Priorities

December 16, 2013

Stacey PogueLast week, the Texas Department of Insurance released proposed rules on “navigators”—community organizations like the United Way that help uninsured people apply for health insurance.  As proposed, the rules could prevent or delay the important work of navigators.  Fort Worth Star Telegram editors agree, noting that the rules will impede insurance enrollment and hinder progress on reducing Texas’ worst-in-the nation uninsured rate.

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