HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES

The Health Care Budget: Four Things to Know

Department of Public Safety troopers guard the governor's office on April 1, 2013, as a group protests Republicans' stance on Medicaid expansion.
Department of Public Safety troopers guard the governor's office on April 1, 2013, as a group protests Republicans' stance on Medicaid expansion.

Texas can rebel against Obamacare and Medicaid expansion all it wants, but enrollment in the state's insurance program for the poor is growing, and the federal government will be paying for less of it. An additional $1.3 billion might be needed just to maintain the status quo.

HHSC Ditching Anti-Fraud Initiative Started by Stick

Jack Stick in the evidence room of the state Office of Inspector General in Austin on June 18, 2012.
Jack Stick in the evidence room of the state Office of Inspector General in Austin on June 18, 2012.

After Jack Stick joined the Health and Human Services Commission's Office of Inspector General, he incorporated sales quota-like performance standards for investigators. The effort got results, but reviews have been mixed and the initiative is being shut down.

Abbott Names New HHSC Watchdog

Gov.-elect Greg Abbott gives a speech at a Texas Public Policy Foundation conference on Jan. 8, 2015.
Gov.-elect Greg Abbott gives a speech at a Texas Public Policy Foundation conference on Jan. 8, 2015.

In one of his first moves as governor, Greg Abbott has tapped Stuart Bowen Jr., the special inspector general who oversaw the reconstruction of Iraq, to be the chief watchdog at the state's embattled health agency.  

HHSC Exec Given Taxpayer-Funded MBA Resigns

Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek whispers to an aide at a hearing of the Sunset Advisory Commission on Jan. 14, 2015.
Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek whispers to an aide at a hearing of the Sunset Advisory Commission on Jan. 14, 2015.

Already placed on leave, the deputy chief of staff to Health and Human Services Commission chief Kyle Janek resigned Friday, and has started paying back half the $97,050 tuition paid by the state.

Arkansas Medicaid Plan Offers Mixed Lessons

Department of Public Safety troopers guard the governor's office on April 1, 2013, as a group protests Republicans' stance on Medicaid expansion.
Department of Public Safety troopers guard the governor's office on April 1, 2013, as a group protests Republicans' stance on Medicaid expansion.

Early on, supporters of Medicaid expansion pointed to Arkansas as an example of how Texas might go about helping insure its poor. But lately, the neighbor's grass doesn't look quite as green.

Sources: Abbott Will Wait to Decide on Janek's Future

Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek whispers to an aide at a hearing of the Sunset Advisory Commission on Jan. 14, 2015.
Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek whispers to an aide at a hearing of the Sunset Advisory Commission on Jan. 14, 2015.

Amid calls for Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle Janek to resign over a contracting scandal, sources close to Gov.-elect Greg Abbott say Abbott won't decide on Janek's future until after the completion of state investigations.