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 of ...

Cruz Speech May Not Have Lasting Effect on Cornyn

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Texas Sen. John Cornyn's decision not to “#StandWithCruz” during the junior senator's 21-hour speech this week raised a firestorm of criticism from the Tea Party grassroots. But political operatives say Cornyn’s balancing act is unlikely to cause lasting damage, even though the Tea Party has an outsized influence on Texas GOP primaries. 

Helen Hawkins, a certified pediatric nurse practitioner, treats 13-month-old Kevin Gorostieta at Carousel Pediatrics in Austin on Nov. 8, 2012.
Helen Hawkins, a certified pediatric nurse practitioner, treats 13-month-old Kevin Gorostieta at Carousel Pediatrics in Austin on Nov. 8, 2012.

Exchanges May Provide Relief to Families Seeking Coverage for Kids

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The new federal health care exchanges opening Oct. 1 could provide a safety net for the families who earn too much money to qualify for state and federally subsidized health care plans like Medicaid and CHIP.

Kenneth Flippin, left, and Jane Denson, right, of Enroll America at the home of Shelby Childress.
Kenneth Flippin, left, and Jane Denson, right, of Enroll America at the home of Shelby Childress.

Feds Release Premium Rates for Insurance Marketplace

As the nation watched U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz on Tuesday argue for hours to defund Obamacare — even at the cost of shutting down the federal government — the Obama administration released preliminary data showing that premium rates in the health insurance marketplace created by the law will be comparatively low for Texans.

 

A patient at The People's Community Clinic pays her bill as the cashier’s desk.  The Community Health Assistance Program, a program that helps Texans get access to insurance, will run out of federal grant money in a few weeks.
A patient at The People's Community Clinic pays her bill as the cashier’s desk. The Community Health Assistance Program, a program that helps Texans get access to insurance, will run out of federal grant money in a few weeks.

Perry, Obamacare and the Uninsured

Texas Weekly

In the same week that the U.S. Census Bureau released new statistics showing Texas again ranks highest for the rate of people without health insurance, Gov. Rick Perry quietly laid out the next moves in his ongoing effort to derail Obamacare.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 9/16/13

M. Smith drops in on state textbook hearings, E. Smith interviews Tom Pauken, Satija on water rationing along the Colorado River, Root probes Dan Patrick’s unexpected investment, KUT’s Philpott sorts out clinic closings, Murphy maps the latest census data, MacLaggan on a welcome turn in poverty, Malewitz finds a race for energy efficiency, Hamilton reports on better grades for Sul Ross, Grissom on bad grades for the death penalty, Batheja on Debra Medina’s dilemma, Aguilar on the glum forecast for immigration reform and Aaronson looks at the latest hurdle for Obamacare: The best of our best for the week of Sept. 16-20, 2013.

Gov. Rick Perry attends a groundbreaking ceremony for the CRIT Texas Teletón USA children's rehabilitation center in San Antonio on Aug. 6, 2013.
Gov. Rick Perry attends a groundbreaking ceremony for the CRIT Texas Teletón USA children's rehabilitation center in San Antonio on Aug. 6, 2013.

Watson Responds to Perry's Move to Regulate Insurance Navigators

In a letter Thursday, state Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, says Gov. Rick Perry's move to establish strict rules for so-called health insurance navigators defies the intent of a law legislators passed this year.

Gov. Rick Perry speaks to media after the groundbreaking ceremony of the Teletón USA children's rehabilitation center in San Antonio on Aug. 6, 2013.
Gov. Rick Perry speaks to media after the groundbreaking ceremony of the Teletón USA children's rehabilitation center in San Antonio on Aug. 6, 2013.

Perry Directs HHSC to Pursue Medicaid Block Grant

In a letter to the state's health agency on Monday, Gov. Rick Perry laid out his plan to request a federal waiver to reform Medicaid as Texas sees fit — without expanding eligibility. “Seemingly, the president and his administration are content to simply throw money at a problem and hope that any problems will resolve themselves,” he wrote.

Doctor of Osteopathy Jedd Raney at the UNT Health Science Center, Fort Worth.
Doctor of Osteopathy Jedd Raney at the UNT Health Science Center, Fort Worth.

Uncertainty Lingers as Insurance Exchange Rollout Nears

The federal government is spending millions of dollars to promote health care coverage via new marketplace exchanges, but with only a few weeks left until their debut, some Texans say they've been left with more questions than answers.

Hospitals Zinged for Readmission Rates

Texas Weekly

In an effort to pay for better performance, the federal government is penalizing 169 Texas hospitals that had the highest rates of Medicare patients readmitted within 30 days of being treated for heart failure, heart attacks or pneumonia. Look up which hospitals will take a Medicare hit in 2014 or review the hospitals in a county near you.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius met in Austin with leaders from the health care industry to discuss the Affordable Care Act on Aug. 8, 2013.
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius met in Austin with leaders from the health care industry to discuss the Affordable Care Act on Aug. 8, 2013.

Feds Award $10.8 Million to Help Texans Find Coverage

With the rollout of many Affordable Care Act provisions fast approaching, the federal government announced Thursday that eight Texas organizations will receive a combined $10.8 million to hire and train “navigators” to help uninsured Texans find health coverage.

 

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius met in Austin with leaders from the health care industry to discuss the Affordable Care Act on Aug. 8, 2013.
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius met in Austin with leaders from the health care industry to discuss the Affordable Care Act on Aug. 8, 2013.

Perry’s Whack at the Obamacare Piñata

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While most Americans do in fact have an opinion on the Affordable Care Act, to say that they understand it — at all, let alone “all too well” — runs contrary to the data currently available.

 

Abbott Detours Around Government Shutdown Idea

Attorney General Greg Abbott said Thursday he would never give up the fight against Obamacare, but the frontrunning candidate for Texas governor declined to embrace one of the key strategies promoted by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and other Tea Party-backed Republicans in Washington: a temporary shut-down of the federal government. 

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius met in Austin with leaders from the health care industry to discuss the Affordable Care Act on Aug. 8, 2013.
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius met in Austin with leaders from the health care industry to discuss the Affordable Care Act on Aug. 8, 2013.

Sebelius: We're Open to "Uniquely Texan" Approach

The federal government is open to expanding Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act in a way that is “uniquely Texan,” Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Thursday in Austin.

 

 

State to Feds: We Won't Enforce Insurance Reforms

Though Texas will join 26 other states in defaulting to a federal marketplace for purchasing health insurance — a major component of the Affordable Care Act — it is one of only six that will not enforce new health insurance reforms prescribed by the law. It's a decision some say could lead to confusion over who's responsible for protecting Texas insurance consumers.