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Posts Tagged ‘health care’

Abbott’s health care small ball

Is that all there is? Increased funding for preventive care and luring medical professionals to Texas are at the center of gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott’s health care plan, unveiled at St. Joseph’s Women’s Medical Center here on Wednesday. The Republican attorney general, running to replace Gov. Rick Perry, unveiled a proposal that includes a $50 […]

Just don’t call it “Medicaid expansion”

It’s the public policy that dare not have its name spoken, at least by Republican legislators. State lawmakers renewed efforts Thursday to find a “Texas solution” to expand health-insurance coverage for low-income residents without accepting the Medicaid expansion in President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. Social-services advocates and local officials are among those pushing […]

The people who signed up for insurance via Obamacare got themselves a pretty good deal

It worked the way it was supposed to work, in other words. Texans who received financial assistance to purchase health coverage through the federal insurance exchange are paying less in monthly premiums than individuals in most other states using that online marketplace, according to a new report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human […]

If Louisiana can do it…

By “it” I mean expand Medicaid. What’s Texas’ excuse if that happens? Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter on Monday left open the possibility of expanding Louisiana’s Medicaid program to cover more of the working poor. Vitter, a candidate for governor and ardent critic of the health overhaul championed by President Barack Obama, said he’s not […]

The Texarkana experience

The city of Texarcana literally sits on the border between Texas and Arkansas, partly in one state and partly in the other. That means that some of its residents may be eligible for a health insurance subsidy under Arkansas’ Medicaid expansion/privatization hybrid. Or they may be in Texas and be screwed like anyone else. Arkansas […]

Two million Texans used healthcare.gov

Yeah, we had lots of demand for health insurance. That’s what happens when you have so many uninsured people in a state. Almost all adult Texans knew of the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplace before its open enrollment ended March 31, new research shows. In a report released Wednesday, Rice University’s Baker Institute for […]

Retail medical clinics

I for one think they’re a good idea. Here’s a prescription for pediatricians fighting to keep easy-to-treat, well-paying patients: Expand after-hours and weekend services to serve desperate parents in search of quick remedies for their kids’ late-night sore throats and upset tummies. Otherwise, parents will continue choosing the closest CVS, Walgreens or H-E-B clinic. With […]

What’s the health insurance enrollment status in Texas?

The short answer is that we don’t know. The longer answer, as this Express-News story indicates, is that we’ll never really know. Self-sufficiency. Distrust. Desire for flexibility. Those are some reasons many consumers bypassed health insurance plans sold on government-run exchanges and instead chose to buy coverage directly from insurance agents or brokers before open […]

We really should have expanded Medicaid

We know it would have done a lot of good, at a very reasonable cost. Turns out that cost was even less than what we had been told. News reports and state officials have commonly stated that expanding the Medicaid program in this fashion would cost the state about $15 billion over 10 years. Except, that figure, provided […]

Last minute health insurance enrollment help

From the inbox: The Houston Department of Health and Human Services (HDHHS) will open four of its multi-service centers on Sunday and extend their business hours next Monday to help people sign up for a health insurance plan by the Affordable Care Act’s March 31 deadline. HDHHS will open Acres Homes, Denver Harbor, Northeast and Southwest […]

Once again, the cost of not expanding Medicaid

Short answer: It’s a lot. A team of Harvard researchers recently released a deeply sobering study quantifying how many Americans stand to die needlessly in the unflinching states hellbent on denying Medicaid expansion, as provided by the Affordable Care Act. The study singles out Texas: “In Texas, the largest state opting out of Medicaid expansion, […]

More Obamacare enrollments, still lots more needed

That’s pretty much the story. Texas enrollment in the online insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act rose steadily in February but did not meet expectations set forth by the Obama administration, according to figures that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released Tuesday. “As more Americans learn just how affordable marketplace […]

Inmates and Medicaid

Other states are doing what Texas has declined to do. Being arrested in Chicago for, say, drug possession or assault gets you sent to the Cook County Jail to be fingerprinted, photographed and X-rayed. You’ll also get help applying for health insurance. At least six states and counties from Maryland to Oregon’s Multnomah are getting […]

More on Texas Left Me Out

The Observer reports on the launch of Texas Left Me Out. Members of the coalition pointed to two different studies that estimate that thousands of uninsured Texans with chronic conditions are likely to die as a result of not expanding Medicaid. A Harvard University/CUNY study released last week predicts between 1,840 to 3,035 deaths. Another study, by a […]

The coverage gap

As you may know, the intent of the Affordable Care Act was to get people below a certain income level onto Medicaid, with people at or above that income level receiving subsidized health insurance via the exchanges. Unfortunately, when the Supreme Court ruled that the Medicaid expansion mandate was unconstitutional, it meant that in states […]

ACA enrollments in Texas

As was the case with the rest of the country, there was a big surge in December. Texas enrollments in the online insurance marketplace created under the Affordable Care Act rose nearly eightfold in December, according to 2013 figures that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released Monday. Texas ranks third in the […]

HHSC publishes rules relating to HB2

HHSC is all in on the omnibus anti-abortion bill passed during the special session this summer. Texas health officials have a message for the more than 19,000 folks who wrote in to oppose new abortion regulations: Each individual commenter failed to show that clinics will close or that women will face an undue burden under […]

Texas Left Me Out

This. Obamacare advocates are actively recruiting those left out of the Medicaid expansion in Republican-controlled states to lobby state officials to change their minds and participate in that key provision of the health care reform law. So far, the effort is most organized in Texas, which is also the state with the most people in […]

County jail diversion program moving forward

News like this is always welcome. Harris County is moving forward with a much-anticipated jail diversion program aimed at reducing the soaring number – and the associated cost – of mentally ill residents who repeatedly cycle through the county lockup. Harris County Judge Ed Emmett this week announced his pick to head the four-year pilot […]

Once again, the cost of not expanding Medicaid

We are paying for Medicaid expansion, regardless of what our “leaders” want. The only question is whether we get a benefit from it, or if it all goes to other states. If Texas keeps refusing to enlarge Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, the state will pass up a heap of money, a new study […]

Of course Wendy Davis needs to talk about health care

It’s not even a question. In order for Davis to defeat Attorney General Greg Abbott, her likely Republican opponent next November, political strategists say she needs to win big among two key demographics: Hispanics and white women. Among Hispanics in particular, Davis can’t let her Republican opponent claim more than about 30 percent of the […]

Don’t believe anything the TPPF has to say about the Affordable Care Act

With the exception of some things they have to say about criminal justice, you shouldn’t believe anything the Texas Public Policy Foundation has to say, full stop. You especially shouldn’t believe anything they have to say about the Affordable Care Act. The Affordable Care Act will increase the average cost of insurance premiums, making health […]

Another way the Affordable Care Act will benefit Texans

Thousands of people in the high-risk pool will get better coverage at lower prices, thanks to Obamacare. At year’s end, Texas will shut down its high-risk insurance pool for some of the state’s sickest residents, pushing participants to find private coverage in the federal health insurance marketplace created under the federal Affordable Care Act. And […]

An awful lot of people tried to sign up for insurance exchanges on Tuesday

That’s a very good thing, even if technical difficulties prevented many of them from completing the job. On the first day of sign-ups for President Barack Obama’s health care reform, a wave of consumers across the nation, including many Texans, sought Tuesday to enroll in online health care marketplaces, but glitches with the federal website […]

Perry keeps asking for the same Medicaid waiver he hasn’t gotten in the past

Same as it ever was. Gov. Rick Perry is preparing for yet another battle in his war against Obamacare. In a letter to the state’s health agency on Monday, the governor laid out his plan to request a federal waiver to reform Medicaid as Texas sees fit — without expanding eligibility. “Seemingly, the president and […]

The obstacles to enrollment

The Affordable Care Act could have a big effect in Houston if the people who would benefit by it can be informed about it and assisted as needed. Houston, with an estimated 800,000 uninsured residents, ranks among the nation’s largest cities with the highest number of working poor residents – many of whom could be […]

Pertussis

Not good. State health officials warn that Texas is on track to see the highest number of whooping cough cases it has registered in 50 years if occurrences of the disease continue at the current rate. As of this week, Texas has reported 1,670 cases of pertussis, better known as whooping cough, to the Centers […]

None dare call it Obamacare

You’ve probably seen the Politico story by now. Gov. Rick Perry wants to kill Obamacare dead, but Texas health officials are in talks with the Obama administration about accepting an estimated $100 million available through the health law to care for the elderly and disabled, POLITICO has learned. Perry health aides are negotiating with the […]

Feds provide money to help sign people up for the exchanges

Every little bit helps. 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. “Navigators will be among the many resources available to help consumers understand their […]

More on Abbott and his lawsuit settlement

I have three things to say about this. When Greg Abbott’s spine was crushed by a falling oak tree in 1984 he had no health insurance, no paycheck and no feeling in his legs. But he had a good lawyer and, back then, access to a civil justice system that was generally hospitable toward plaintiffs. […]

What to do with that extra money?

Some unexpected good financial news for the city, but what to do about it is the tricky part. Just months after hiking health premiums, shifting costs to employees and plugging a projected multimillion-dollar deficit in its health benefits fund, the city of Houston has found itself with a sizable surplus in that account instead. The […]

Two ways to deal with a problem you don’t want to solve

First, deny there is a problem. Attorney General Greg Abbott said Thursday he would never give up the fight against Obamacare, but the front-running candidate for Texas governor declined to embrace a temporary shut-down of the federal government — one of the key strategies promoted by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and other Tea Party-backed Republicans […]

A reduction in funding for women’s health leads to fewer women getting health care

Shocking, I know. The number of claims filed for medical and family planning services in the new state-run Texas Women’s Health Program has dropped since the state ousted Planned Parenthood from it and set up its own program without federal financing, according to figures from the Health and Human Services Commission. Stephanie Goodman, a spokeswoman […]

Texas really needs Obamacare

We’ve always known that Texas would be a huge beneficiary of the Affordable Care Act because of our huge volume of uninsured people, but this quantifies it in a way that really brings it home. Texas is home to more than two-thirds of the nation’s 30 counties most in need of expanded health insurance coverage, […]