Tribpedia: Medicaid

Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan and Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie.
Sen. Steve Ogden, R-Bryan and Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie.

It's Senate vs. Austerity in Fight Over Budget

The betting game has already begun on whether the budget battle between a more moderate Senate and a far stingier House will lead to a standoff — and a special session in the summer. The two budget committee chairmen refuse to say whether one body may have more sway than the other in the final outcome. 

Pro-union protesters hold signs decrying budget cuts at the Texas Capitol on April 6, 2011.
Pro-union protesters hold signs decrying budget cuts at the Texas Capitol on April 6, 2011.

Thousands Rally for Smaller Budget Cuts

Thousands of protesters chanted "They say, 'Cut back.' We say, 'Fight back'" as they marched to the Capitol this afternoon to rally against proposed budget cuts.

Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, votes 'aye' to table an amendment regarding HB4 the supplemental appropriations bill on March 31, 2011
Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, votes 'aye' to table an amendment regarding HB4 the supplemental appropriations bill on March 31, 2011

Pitts Talks, Gently, of Adding Money to Budget

Less than two days after approving a state budget that cuts $23 billion from current spending, Rep. Jim Pitts says House leaders are already talking among themselves about how much more money they'd be willing to spend. 

Senators Juan Hinojosa _(D-Mission), Chairman Steve Ogden (R-Bryan) and John Whitmire (D-Houston) listen to testimony in the Senate Finance Committee hearing on January 31, 2011.
Senators Juan Hinojosa _(D-Mission), Chairman Steve Ogden (R-Bryan) and John Whitmire (D-Houston) listen to testimony in the Senate Finance Committee hearing on January 31, 2011.

Senate Leaders: Fix State Revenue Now or Pay Later

Texas need to address its structural deficit during the current session, or it will face even deeper financial problems in two years than it faces today, senate leaders said Tuesday afternoon.

Natasha and Mark Rosen, of Austin, with baby Matthew, who was born 3 months premature, in Seton Medical Center Austin's neonatal intensive care unit. Texas lawmakers are looking for ways to curb prenatal births and the high costs they present for the state's Medicaid program.
Natasha and Mark Rosen, of Austin, with baby Matthew, who was born 3 months premature, in Seton Medical Center Austin's neonatal intensive care unit. Texas lawmakers are looking for ways to curb prenatal births and the high costs they present for the state's Medicaid program.

Updated: Hospitals, Advocates at Odds Over Preemie Bills

Lawmakers agree that curbing elective inductions of labor and so-called “convenience” cesarean sections would prevent premature births and save the state money. But how best to do it has left child welfare advocates and hospitals at odds.

Phil and Diann Green at home with their granddaughter Aria, who they've raised since infancy. The Greens, who are retiring and will soon switch from employer-sponsored insurance to Medicare, have been unable to find a child-only health insurance policy for Aria. Insurers in Texas and many other states have stopped offering the policies in protest over federal health reform rules.
Phil and Diann Green at home with their granddaughter Aria, who they've raised since infancy. The Greens, who are retiring and will soon switch from employer-sponsored insurance to Medicare, have been unable to find a child-only health insurance policy for Aria. Insurers in Texas and many other states have stopped offering the policies in protest over federal health reform rules.

Insurers Drop Child-Only Plans, Blame Health Reform

Insurers in Texas have stopped offering new child-only policies in protest over a provision of the federal health care overhaul. For children being raised by their grandparents, there are few options left.

Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, votes 'aye' to table an amendment regarding HB4 the supplemental appropriations bill on March 31, 2011
Rep. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, votes 'aye' to table an amendment regarding HB4 the supplemental appropriations bill on March 31, 2011

Plenty of Politics in Budget Amendments

Numbers aren’t all that’s buried in the budget. Lawmakers have filed hundreds of amendments that are political in nature, from repealing in-state tuition for illegal immigrants to trying to push Planned Parenthood out of the family planning business. 

Community home care advocates for children rally on the South steps of the Capitol against budget cuts
Community home care advocates for children rally on the South steps of the Capitol against budget cuts

Advocates Rally to Retain State Health Funds

Hundreds of people rallied at the Capitol today to urge lawmakers to maintain state spending on Medicaid and CHIP, the health care programs for children, the disabled and the very poor. 

Leaders from Texas Hospital Association and other hospital groups urge members of the Texas House to protect funding for local hospitals, doctors and nurses. March 29th, 2011
Leaders from Texas Hospital Association and other hospital groups urge members of the Texas House to protect funding for local hospitals, doctors and nurses. March 29th, 2011

Texas Hospitals: Budget Cuts Are Too Deep

Texas hospital officials, anticipating a House budget vote later this week, warned this morning that the current proposal could mean funding cuts of up to 37 percent for some hospitals.

Skimpy

The House Appropriations Committee, on a party-line vote, advanced the next state budget, sending to the full House a bill that spends $164.5 billion — about $23 billion less than state officials say they need to maintain current services.

Leo Linbeck III, Houston builder and vice chair of the national Health Care Compact Alliance.
Leo Linbeck III, Houston builder and vice chair of the national Health Care Compact Alliance.

Leo Linbeck III: The TT Interview

The Houston builder and Health Care Compact Alliance vice chair on how an interstate compact could fix health care in Texas — and give the state some semblance of local control over what he calls an unsustainable health care system.

Community home care advocates for children rally on the 
South  steps of the Capitol against budget cuts
Community home care advocates for children rally on the South steps of the Capitol against budget cuts

Activists Rally for Home Health Care

Health care providers who treat profoundly disabled children at home face major budget cuts this session — cuts they say would devastate their industry and cost the state more in the long run.

Baby Mila, who was born 3 months early, with mom Adrienne Ball in Seton Medical Center Austin's neonatal intensive care unit. Texas lawmakers are looking for ways to curb prenatal births and the high costs they present for the state's Medicaid program.
Baby Mila, who was born 3 months early, with mom Adrienne Ball in Seton Medical Center Austin's neonatal intensive care unit. Texas lawmakers are looking for ways to curb prenatal births and the high costs they present for the state's Medicaid program.

Surging Growth of Neonatal ICUs Brings Increased Budget Scrutiny

State health officials, searching for solutions to Texas’ budget shortfall, are eying neonatal intensive care units, which they fear are being overbuilt and overused by hospitals eager to profit from the high-cost care.

Rural Hospitals Hope to Change Hiring Law

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A Texas law dating back to the 1800s that keeps hospitals from directly hiring doctors comes before lawmakers today, in a flurry of bills designed to remove the ban — either for an individual hospital district, or for all the state's rural hospitals.