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Posts Tagged ‘HHSC’

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 […]

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 […]

Rick Perry doesn’t want people to get health insurance

There’s really no other viable explanation. On a White House conference call on Monday, Texas Democrats criticized Gov. Rick Perry and other Republican state leaders for “getting in the way” of implementing federal health care reform. During the call, which was organized by the White House to tout the impact of the Affordable Care Act […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

If Medicaid is broken, who broke it?

Patricia Kilday Hart asks an excellent question. [Rep. Garnet] Coleman’s observation provides part of the answer: Just last session, the Legislature trimmed $486 million in state money paid to Medicaid providers, and ended a student loan-forgiveness program for new doctors exclusively serving Medicaid patients. The federal government, which has established some rules that restrict the […]

Medicaid “expansion” bill passes out of House committee

Forgive me for tempering my excitement about this, but it’s not that much to be excited about. Despite opposition from conservative Republicans, the House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday advanced a proposal that would reform Medicaid by allowing the state to request a block grant from the federal government and expand coverage to low-income Texans. “This […]

The limits of the Arkansas option

I’ve mentioned the Arkansas option for expanding Medicaid several times, under which the state uses Medicaid money to buy private health insurance for those who would be eligible for Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. It’s not my preferred solution, but it has some merits and would certainly be better than doing nothing. However, while […]

Feds bypass the state on Title X funds

Very interesting. The federal government announced [Monday] that it would no longer award a large slice of federal family-planning funds to the state of Texas. Instead, the feds will award the $6.5 million grant to the Women’s Health and Family Planning Association of Texas, a coalition of providers led by Fran Hagerty, to distribute to […]

Straus wants someone to do something on Medicaid

Don’t we all, Joe. Don’t we all. Seeking to light a fire under fellow Republicans to provide health care to more uninsured Texans, House Speaker Joe Straus said Wednesday that it is time to “get our heads out of the sand” and find an alternative to Medicaid expansion that would bring billions of federal dollars […]

Harris Health System plans to serve more patients via Medicaid waiver

The story about what they’re going to do leaves a few details out, however. Harris Health System leaders plan to serve 100,000 new patients in the next three years. That is a 37 percent increase from today, and is particularly ambitious when you consider how many patients the system added in the last year: about […]

Smaller WHP provider list back up

Maybe they got it right this time. A revised list of Texas Women’s Health Program providers — with 965 fewer doctors and clinics — has returned to the state’s website. [...] The HHSC had previously stated that the Texas WHP had 3,500 participating providers, roughly 1,000 more than the number of providers that participated in […]

The state begins preparing its excuses for its WHP screwup

The fail is strong in this one. State health officials continue to insist that they have signed up more than enough providers to replace Planned Parenthood across most of Texas. Areas of limited coverage — including San Angelo, Corsicana and Paris — are being scoured to find health care providers willing to join the Women’s […]

Where are the doctors?

The Morning News tries to verify that the Dallas-area providers listed for the new Texas Women’s Health Program are in fact providing health care services to the women in this program as advertised. It goes about as well as you’d expect. A Dallas Morning News survey of 336 contacts listed online for the program showed […]

Substitute WHP has problems: Film at 11

No one could have seen this coming. State Rep. Donna Howard, D-Austin, has been worried about the Women’s Health Program since the state said it would create its own version of the program. That came after the state moved to exclude clinics affiliated with abortion providers, like Planned Parenthood, from participating — which led the […]

State fails to get injunction against terminating Womens Health Program funds

As you know, last year the Lege passed a law that forbade Planned Parenthood from participating in the Women’s Health Program on the grounds that PP does abortions even though none of the PP clinics that participate in the Women’s Health Program perform abortions – they’re in a separate organization all together. The federal government […]

Planned Parenthood files another lawsuit

Keeping the heat on the state. As a tumultuous year in women’s health draws to a close, Planned Parenthood is turning up the heat on Texas, today filing a new lawsuit that challenge the state’s move to ban the nonprofit from participation in a state-run and funded Texas Women’s Health Program. While previous lawsuits have […]

Planned Parenthood gains a stay in state lawsuit

If you’re confused by where the Women’s Health Program stands in Texas, I don’t blame you. Planned Parenthood will continue participating in the Women’s Health Program — for now. Travis County District Judge Stephen Yelenosky on Thursday approved a temporary injunction to delay the state’s implementation of the “Affiliate Ban Rule,” which would bar the […]

No, they can’t

You just need to ask yourself one simple question about this. Planned Parenthood will remain part of the Women’s Health Program for now, state officials said Wednesday, putting off the organization’s ouster as critics questioned whether enough health-care providers would exist without it. Gov. Rick Perry and Texas Health and Human Services Executive Commissioner Kyle […]

No Planned Parenthood, no women’s health care

It’s a simple enough concept. Women’s access to affordable health care will be reduced if the state follows through with its plan to eschew federal funding for the Women’s Health Program and create a state program instead, according to a new study from George Washington University. The study, a follow-up to a May report from […]

Psych hospital privatization rejected

Good. The Department of State Health Services has rejected a bid by Geo Care to privatize Kerrville State Hospital. Last year, legislators told State Health Services it had to solicit proposals from mental health providers that wanted to run one of the state-run psychiatric hospitals. Those proposals had to show that the bidder could run […]

This is what a government takeover of health care looks like

It’s happening right here in Texas. Texas officials express confidence that thousands of low-income women will be able to find new providers should Planned Parenthood be excluded from the state’s Women’s Health Program, but Xelena Gonzalez does not think woman should have to make that search. “They are playing politics,” the 33-year-old San Antonio librarian […]

Fifth Circuit strikes again

Dammit. A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that Texas did not act unconstitutionally when it moved to expel Planned Parenthood from a health and contraceptive care program for low-income women. The ruling overturned a preliminary injunction, issued in April by U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel of Austin, that banned Texas from enforcing rules designed to […]

The first rule of women’s health

Is don’t talk about things that make certain Republicans queasy. A proposed state rule that would prohibit doctors in Texas’ Women’s Health Program from discussing the option of abortion with their patients — even if the patient asks about it — has drawn the opposition of Texas medical groups. The groups take issue specifically with […]

Medicaid expansion: Not as expensive as the state claimed it would be

Remember last year when the state Health and Human Services Commission claimed that Medicaid expansion would cost the state of Texas $27 billion over ten years, causing every Republican in the state to have a fainting spell and a hissy fit about how that would bankrupt us all? Turns out that estimate was a wee […]

Yvonne Gutierrez: Republican support for women’s health?

The following is from a series of guest posts that I will be presenting over the next few weeks. We all know there is a lot at stake for the 2012 election cycle. All eyes are on Washington but the old adage is true — all politics is local. State Legislative races are crucial. Especially […]

Suehs to retire

Texas Health and Human Services Commissioner Tom Suehs will call it a career this August. Suehs’ announcement follows news last month that Billy Millwee, the state’s Medicaid director, was retiring, leaving an even bigger void than anticipated at the top of an agency facing billions of dollars in unpaid Medicaid costs and struggling to institute […]

The state shows its intent in Planned Parenthood lawsuit

As we know, Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas in order to block the “Affiliate Rule” that Rick Perry is using to deny Medicaid funds to their clinics for the Women’s Health Program. In the opening arguments of the lawsuit, the state clearly shows what its priorities are. State officials will […]

Rick Perry’s vision for women’s health in Texas

More talk than action, and the numbers don’t add up. Are we surprised? Texas health officials have delivered a proposal to the federal government that outlines their plans for transitioning the Women’s Health Program from a program primarily supported by federal funds to one that runs on state money. They want the federal government to […]

Planned Parenthood sues Texas

Two can play at that game. Planned Parenthood affiliates in Texas filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday to block a rule aimed at excluding their health centers from the Medicaid Women’s Health Program. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Austin, asks the court to file a preliminary injunction to block a rule aimed at excluding […]

The Texas bait and switch

You almost have to admire the sheer brazenness of it all. Almost. In a fiscal switcheroo, Texas could free up state dollars to fund the embattled Women’s Health Program by seeking federal block grants for other programs, the state’s health commissioner wrote in a letter to House Democrats on Tuesday. Texas is losing more than […]

Perry’s empty promise on the Women’s Health Program

Our Governor talks big, but his words have no meaning. The state will find the cash to continue a women’s health program whose federal funding is threatened because of a decision to keep Planned Parenthood from participating, Gov. Rick Perry said Thursday. “We’re going to fund this program,” Perry said. “Listen, we’ll find the money. […]