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Coalition Blog

Cover Texas Now Coalition - April 21, 2017

The state budget is arguably the most the important bill that the Texas Legislature passes in any given legislative session, and the 2017 session is no different.

Both the House and Senate have passed their versions of the budget bill for the 2018-2019 biennium. Over the coming days and weeks, a conference committee will resolve the differences between the two bills and produce a final...

Children's Defense Fund--Texas - April 21, 2017

I am 64 years old and looking forward to the protection Medicare will offer me, because I am greatly concerned about repeal of my ACA coverage. For my entire working life, I carried and paid for quality full-coverage health insurance for over 25 years, either personally or through an employer. I was the guy insurance companies count on to balance their risk—I didn’t have any serious health...

Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) - April 19, 2017

Every day, on average, 78 Americans die from opioid abuse.[1] But did you know that the Affordable Care Act (ACA/Obamacare) has been the key way that states have developed tools to fight the opioid epidemic across America? The ACA’s expansion of healthcare coverage—including benefits for prevention, treatment and harm reduction—continues to help lessen the epidemic and save lives. […]

The post How the ACA Fights the Opioid Epidemic appeared first on Better Texas Blog.

Cover Texas Now Coalition - April 12, 2017

After debating amendments on Medicaid expansion and many other issues, the Texas House passed its state budget proposal on a vote of 129 to 18 in the early morning hours on Friday. The bill now goes to a conference committee composed of five Senators and five Representatives to iron out a final bill for an up-or-down vote in the House and Senate before the Legislature adjourns at the end of...

Cover Texas Now Coalition - April 12, 2017

During a marathon debate on the state budget last week, something important and overdue happened on the floor of the Texas House: State Representatives stood up and made the case for accepting Medicaid expansion funding from the federal government.

Representative Chris Turner, the author of the amendment, as well as Reps. Tomas Uresti, Donna Howard, and Gina Hinojosa, called for...

Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) - April 7, 2017

Before we break out the champagne, however, let’s remember that both the House and Senate budgets still drastically underfund our growing state. The 2018-2019 budgets for each chamber are at least six percent lower than the 2016-2017 budget, after taking into account population growth and cost inflation.

The post A Recap of the Texas House Budget appeared first on Better Texas Blog.

Texans Care for Children - April 5, 2017

On Thursday, the Texas House will debate and vote on its proposed state budget for the next two years as well as a proposed “supplemental budget” for the last few months of the current fiscal year.

The budget – which is considered the most important bill the Legislature works on each session – will then go to a House-Senate conference committee to work out the differences between the two chambers’ proposals.

The budget is tighter than usual this year in large part because of past decisions by the Legislature to cut the business tax and to automatically set aside revenue to pay for highways.

The Senate already passed its budget proposal, and we’ve noted some of our concerns as well as the progress made by Senate budget-writers.

Much of the media attention on the budget has focused on the clash between the House and the Senate over...

Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) - April 5, 2017

Media reports indicate that President Trump and Congressional Republicans are working to revive their bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with the same harmful provisions plus two new ones. States would be able to opt out of “essential health benefits” and the requirement that health plans not charge people more because they are […]

The post Administration, Congress Considering More Damaging New Twist on ACA Repeal: Texas Implications appeared first on Better Texas Blog.

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

The House Committee on Appropriations approved its budget proposal on March 29, and a floor vote by the full House is set for April 6. The bill will, as usual, undergo some additional amendments on the House floor. Let’s explore some key Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provisions in the House Committee bill. […]

The post Medicaid Funding: Like Senate, House Committee Budget Raises Unanswered Questions appeared first on Better Texas Blog.

Texans Care for Children - April 3, 2017

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

AUSTIN – A new report released today outlines 10 steps that Texas leaders should take to support mothers suffering from perinatal depression and ensure children get off to a healthy, successful start. The report by Texans Care for Children notes that perinatal depression – also referred to as postpartum depression, maternal depression, or perinatal mood and anxiety disorders – is one of the most common complications of pregnancy, affecting approximately one in six new mothers in Texas. The report shows that approximately half of all cases of perinatal depression go undetected and undiagnosed, a challenge that bills currently before the...

Cover Texas Now Coalition - March 28, 2017

Thank you for everything you did to help stop the health care repeal bill in Congress!

Defeating the bill was a huge victory for the millions of Americans whose lives, health, and financial security were at stake.

While the headlines focused on the role of the Freedom Caucus members who wanted the legislation to cut health care even more deeply than it did, the bill also faced...

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

When you’re in a hole – especially a self-induced one – stop digging. The Senate should boost investments in the services Texans need and stop pushing for new cuts to revenue.

The post Big Week for the Budget appeared first on Better Texas Blog.

Cover Texas Now Coalition - March 24, 2017

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.

The...

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

By Stephanie Rubin and Patrick Bresette

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...

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.

Cover Texas Now Coalition - March 20, 2017

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...

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