Tribpedia: Federal Health Reform And Texas

Tribpedia

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 ...

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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. 

 

New Medicaid Eligibility Calculation Draws Concerns

The Affordable Care Act's new rules for determining Medicaid eligibility has officials at the Health and Human Services Commission worried about an increased burden in processing applications. But proponents of the law say such hurdles are a natural part of major policy reform.

Cruz, Cornyn Still Prominent Critics of Health Care Law

With major components of the Affordable Care Act set to take effect in the coming months, Texas' U.S. senators have remained vocal in their calls to defund or dismantle the law. While some may see political motives, staff members say the senators are only trying to address what they see as flawed policy.

Zoila Chaver, second from right, a member of the Texas Organizing Project, giving health care information to Dallas resident Graciela Garcia at Garcia's home on July 10, 2013.
Zoila Chaver, second from right, a member of the Texas Organizing Project, giving health care information to Dallas resident Graciela Garcia at Garcia's home on July 10, 2013.

Groups Work to Promote Health Insurance Exchange

With state officials declining to implement key components of the federal Affordable Care Act, many private organizations are working to educate Texans about coverage options through the federal health insurance exchange, which opens on Oct. 1.

Yesenia Alvarado holds her daughter, Medicaid patient Melanie Almaraz, 2, while waiting to see Dr. Alberto Vasquez for treatment of a fever at the Su Clinica Familiar in Harlingen, Texas on Jul. 9, 2013.
Yesenia Alvarado holds her daughter, Medicaid patient Melanie Almaraz, 2, while waiting to see Dr. Alberto Vasquez for treatment of a fever at the Su Clinica Familiar in Harlingen, Texas on Jul. 9, 2013.

Health Care Providers Bracing for Medicaid Enrollment

Texas is not expanding Medicaid eligibility, but enrollment in the program is still expected to climb under new rules created by the federal Affordable Care Act. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission projects 240,000 children currently eligible for Medicaid but not participating will enroll in 2014 and 2015.