Tribpedia: Federal Health Reform And Texas

When the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Senate version of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) into law on March 21, 2010, the reaction from Texas leaders of all political persuasions was swift, varied and impassioned — no surprise, given the sweeping scope of the new law.

One thing all sides could agree on: The implications ...

Kolkhorst Keeps Heath Care Compact Bill Alive

Rep. Lois Kolkhorst R-Brenham on House floor May 24th, 2011
Rep. Lois Kolkhorst R-Brenham on House floor May 24th, 2011

Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, threw herself a life raft tonight, attaching her Health Care Compact bill — a measure that would seek to give Texas control of the purse strings for Medicare and Medicaid — onto a Senate health care bill that the House passed on third reading.

House Tentatively OKs Medicaid Fiscal Reform Bill

The House tentatively passed a health care bill that intends to increase efficiency and cost savings in Texas' expensive Medicaid and other health programs today — but not before adding a far-ranging variety of amendments. Medicaid fraud, abortion and immigration all entered the debate, causing stirs and cheers among members. 

Overshadowed, Med Schools Face Drastic Reductions

Texas medical schools feel like the scorned children of the state’s education budget. Lost amid the pleas of parents to restore funding for public education, and the demands of college students to preserve financial aid, the state’s health care institutions say few seem to understand the drastic situation they face. Med schools say they won’t be able to fully fund the students currently enrolled, and could be forced to curb new admissions next year.

Doctors Harish Chandna, Ajay Gaalla, Dakshesh Parikh stand for a portrait in their offices' waiting room.
Doctors Harish Chandna, Ajay Gaalla, Dakshesh Parikh stand for a portrait in their offices' waiting room.

Cardiologists Accuse Hospital of Discrimination

Whether racial animus led Victoria's Citizens Medical Center to close its cardiology unit to non-staff doctors — effectively revoking the privileges of Drs. Harish Chandna, Ajay Gaalla and Dakshesh Kumar Parikh to practice there — is the subject of fierce debate and a discrimination lawsuit filed by the three doctors in federal district court in the Southern District of Texas. The dispute has divided Victoria’s close-knit medical community.

House Debates Anti-"Obamacare" Bills

In their latest effort to remind Washington how much they hate federal health reform, House lawmakers gave early approval tonight to one measure to hold "Obamacare" at bay and deflected, at least temporarily, another that is directed at the individual mandate for health insurance.

Despite Uproar, TX Lawmakers Pursue Medicare Overhaul

Across the nation, U.S. House Republicans are getting an earful from their constituents about a GOP budget proposal to overhaul federal Medicare. But that message hasn’t made its way to Texas, where state lawmakers are still angling to take control of and then restructure both Medicare and Medicaid.

Elderly, Disabled Fight Pay Cut to Service Providers

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Advocates for the elderly and disabled are fighting a proposal in the Legislature that they say would reduce the wages of the personal care attendants who provide services through the Medicaid Community-Based Alternatives waiver program. While the proposal was cut out of one bill Tuesday, the same language exists in a number of other bills, including the Senate version of the budget. 

Kathleen Sebelius: The TT Interview

In an exclusive on-camera interview with The Texas Tribune, U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius discussed the federal government's efforts to cooperate with a state like Texas, where GOP leaders have been hostile to the Affordable Care Act. Sebelius said Texas "has an enormous amount to gain" from the federal reforms. "We will work with [Gov. Perry] and with his team in whatever ways he chooses to work with us," she said.

Bill Aims to Expand Organ Registry, Save Lives

Lawmakers are hoping that nonprofit organizations can do a better job of recruiting organ donors and saving lives. HB2904 would transfer management of the Glenda Dawson Donate Life-Texas Registry from the Texas Department of State Health Services to a new collaboration of nonprofit organizations, a shift supporters say will reduce the number of Texans who die every year while waiting on the transplant list.