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Posts Tagged ‘Medicaid’

Texas insurance enrollment update

Enrollments are up and the number of uninsured are down, though both could have been a lot better. The sky-high rate of Texans without health insurance has dropped only slightly since the launch of the federal Affordable Care Act’s online health insurance marketplace, according to a new report from Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public […]

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 […]

And the first open enrollment period comes to an end

Lots of people signed up in the last few days of enrollment. Some tried but came away empty. Some of the hundreds of Houstonians who sought last-minute help enrolling for the Affordable Care Act on Sunday left thrilled to have health insurance for the first time in their lives, while others walked away frustrated by […]

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 […]

We have ways of making you talk

Poor Greg. Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott, under fire for dodging the details on some policy questions, is filling in the blanks on issues that could be key in his race for governor against Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis. The answers are coming as Abbott faces pressure not only from Davis but from the potential fallout […]

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 […]

ACA enrollments top 200K in Texas

Despite continued fierce resistance from state leadership, people keep signing up for health insurance in Texas via the Healthcare.Gov exchange. Enrollment in the federal health insurance marketplace continued to steadily climb in January, according to data the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released Wednesday. In January, another 89,500 Texans selected a health plan […]

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 […]

What the ACA does, Texas has long done

By now you’ve surely heard about the CBO report on the Affordable Care Act and the workforce, which despite some terribly botched reporting does have a lot of political considerations. There’s something I’d like to point out about this before we get too bogged down in attack ads. Let’s start with Kevin Drum putting a […]

Making the push to sign people up for health insurance

Harris County is at ground zero for this national effort. With less than two months remaining to enroll in the health care marketplace, the federal government is focusing outreach efforts on areas with the largest concentrations of uninsured, including Texas’ Harris and Dallas counties. According to a study conducted for The Associated Press, half of […]

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 […]

If you want to be treated for mental illness, go to jail

You’ve heard it said that the Harris County Jail is the largest mental health facility in Texas. Here’s a great story in the Observer by Emily DePrang that illustrates what that really means. Of the 9,000 or so inmates here, more than a quarter take medication for mental illness, meaning that many days, this jail […]

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 […]

Where are the women’s health providers?

The Republican jihad against Planned Parenthood continues to have real consequences. In 2011, under pressure from Republican leaders, state health officials began enforcing a provision lawmakers wrote to exclude Planned Parenthood and any clinics with organizational ties to abortion providers from the Women’s Health Program. At the time, Planned Parenthood clinics provided 40 percent of […]

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 […]

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 […]

It’s about much more than abortion

Yet another reminder that even if the Legislature had taken no action on abortion since 2011, it still grievously damaged women’s access to healthcare. The closure of nine of 32 family planning clinics in the Rio Grande Valley — a result of the state Legislature’s decision to cut family planning financing in 2011 — has […]

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 […]

Arkansas will expand Medicaid

If they can do it… [Friday], the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services notified state officials in Arkansas that it has approved the states’ Medicaid expansion plan. And this is not any old expansion plan: Arkansas will be the only state in the country that will use Medicaid dollars to purchase private health insurance for […]

Why the Affordable Care Act will make a real difference to many people

This is what it’s all about. The following was written by a good friend of mine, who has been eagerly awaiting October 1 and the opening of the insurance exchanges. I asked him to write about his experience with getting insurance via the exchange. This is his first installment: I am in my late 40′s, […]

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 […]

More ways in which refusing to expand Medicaid will cost Texas money

Fiscal conservatism, baby. Gov. Rick Perry’s rejection of Medicaid expansion will force private health insurance premiums to rise by an average of 9.3 percent for Texans buying coverage on their own, a new study finds. GOP lawmakers, strongly encouraged by Perry, decided not to add poor adults to Medicaid’s rolls and that means about 1.3 […]

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 […]

When is it OK for the feds to intervene in Texas?

When the Affordable Care Act is involved. 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 […]

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 […]

The exchanges are coming

Texas can resist all it wants, the health insurance exchanges will be here in 2014, with signups beginning in October, whether Rick Perry and Greg Abbott like it or not. The federal Health Insurance Marketplace at www.healthcare.gov is scheduled to open on Oct. 1 — two months from now. Enrollment will be open until March […]

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, […]

Fighting for Obamacare

Bring it. Obamacare supporters are launching a new war room operation to stick up for the law, mobilizing liberal groups to talk up its benefits and pound Republicans for trying to cut off its funding. The new effort — to be headed by Americans United for Change, an all-purpose liberal advocacy group, and Protect Your […]