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Texans Care for Children - February 23, 2017

Testimony to the House Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Article II

Texans Care for Children is committed to ensuring that the state adequately invests in children so they can stay healthy, grow up to achieve their goals, and help build a bright future for Texas. We thank the Legislature for its continued commitment to Texas’ women’s health programs that ensure more Texas mothers and babies are healthy and are critical for the state’s fiscal health. Key improvements are needed in the Article II budget – including Medicaid, CHIP, and Early Childhood Intervention – to make sure vital programs are sustainable through the 2018-2019 biennium. Underfunding programs that are critical for kids and pregnant women is an unwise step that puts access to services at risk. Continued investment in these programs saves the state money by preventing poor outcomes, such as premature birth, birth defects, pregnancy complications, and by helping young children...

Texans Care for Children - February 22, 2017

We have a number of concerns about the health and human services budget that legislators are currently writing. For example, the initial draft of the budget doesn't cover the growing number of babies and toddlers expected in Early Childhood Intervention. And legislators still have not reversed the Medicaid cuts to therapies for kids with disabilities, although the House has at least pledged to fix it in a "supplemental" budget bill and included a partial restoration in its proposed budget for the next two years. Meanwhile, the Senate budget bill raises multiple concerns. Notably, it fails to fully fund Medicaid and proposes a $1 billion across-the-board cut. For its part, the House proposal includes a worrisome $100 million Medicaid "cost containment" cut.

The good news is that we're early in the budget-writing process, and there's still time...

Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) - February 22, 2017

Today, we released a new report, video, and fact sheets on surprise medical bills. Surprise medical bills happen when insurers and doctors or other health care providers–fighting over prices– jointly pass the buck to a patient, who received out-of-network health care unknowingly. Surprise billing is especially common in an emergency–when sick or injured patients must […]

The post New Report Shows Only a Tiny Fraction of Texas Patients Helped with Surprise Bills appeared first on Better Texas Blog.

Texas Impact - February 17, 2017

Feb. 20-24, talk to you your U.S. Senator and Representative about health care!

Monday marks the beginning of the Presidents' Day congressional recess, a one-week "district work week" when many members of Congress will be looking to connect with their constituents. 

Texas Impact - February 17, 2017

On Tuesday, February 14, the Senate Committee on Finance heard testimony on Article IX of SB 1, the Senate's proposed Texas budget. Coalition partners with Texans Care for Children and the Center for Public Policy Priorities spoke against the proposed across-the-board program cuts included in the General Provisions section of the budget.

Video highlights include:

Stephanie Rubin, CEO of Texans Care for Children

Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) - February 15, 2017

Texans in need of mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) care too often experience barriers to assistance because insurance companies fail to comply with mental health parity laws. Mental health parity means that insurance benefits for mental health and substance use disorder (MH/SUD) care are equal to coverage for physical health care. For example, […]

The post Important Mental Health Bills Would Assure Access to Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Services appeared first on Better Texas Blog.

Texas Impact - February 3, 2017

On Tuesday, January 31, the Senate Finance Committee listened to public testimony on Article II, the Health and Human Services portion of the budget. The Senate budget is already barebones, but an additional provision in the bill requires an across the board cut that could result in an extra $500 million cut to health and human services. This cut threatens low-income children, people with disabilities, seniors, pregnant women, kids in foster care, Texas with mental health challenges and others who rely on these services.

Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) - January 30, 2017

This week CPPP joins dozens of other Texans—individuals and organizations—to testify on the Texas Senate’s current state budget proposal, Senate Bill 1. As our testimony details, we are alarmed by several key Senate budget proposals related to Medicaid: Not fully funding Medicaid in the final month(s) of the 2016-2017 budget, denying $1.2 billion in general […]

The post When Does Texas Senate’s Deep Medicaid “Under-Funding” become a “Cut”? appeared first on Better Texas Blog.


The Texas Senate has released its proposed budget for the next two years, and it's downright scary.

The Senate plan requires an across the board cut that could result in an extra half billion-dollar cut to health and human services. The cuts pose a grave risk to low-income children, people with disabilities, seniors, pregnant women, kids in foster care, Texans with mental health...


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-olds can walk, though they need ongoing therapy...


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...


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.


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 voting...

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 priority. ...it is imperative that children and families receive expert care from the moment they present....
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...

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