This blog post originally appeared on the Texas Well and Healthy “Texas Treatment” blog.
Starting July 13th in Houston, Texans can provide their input on maximizing federal health care funding for their communities in public meetings organized by the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) on the proposed renewal of the state’s 1115 Medicaid waiver. A full schedule of the meetings is below.
The 1115 Waiver
The expiring 1115 waiver does not offer health insurance to any Texans, but it provides important federal health care funding to the state. The DSRIP half of the waiver pays for innovative health projects in local communities. The uncompensated care half of the waiver helps hospitals cover some of the costs of uninsured patients. The waiver was designed to be temporary, serving to build the capability to care for more Texans after Medicaid expansion and affordable private insurance coverage started in 2014.
As discussed in a recent legislative hearing, the federal government’ decision on renewing the uncompensated care funding will take into account the state’s decision on accepting Medicaid expansion funds.
More details are available in this new policy brief from the Center for Public Policy Priorities.
The State’s Position
State leaders’ recent positions on federal health care funding have been inconsistent, embracing the Medicaid waiver funding to cover unpayable hospital bills while rejecting the Medicaid insurance funding that would avoid many of those unpayable bills by connecting more Texas workers with insurance.
The truth is, the funding streams work best together. The Band-Aid of the uncompensated care funding is important, but it is no substitute for healing the high uninsured rate that ails our Texas health care system.
Schedule of hearings:
Texans can learn more and weigh in at the following public meetings this month:
7/13 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Houston (Texas Department of Transportation)
7/15 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM – Edinburg (Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance)
7/16 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Tyler (Tyler Junior College West Campus)
7/16 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM – Austin (HHSC Brown Heatly Building)
7/20 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM – San Antonio (Omni Colonnade)
7/21 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM – Dallas/Ft. Worth (Old Red Museum, Dallas)
7/22 1:30 PM – 3:30 PM – El Paso (El Paso First Health Plans, Inc.)
7/23 9:30 AM – 11:30 AM – Webinar
7/24 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM – Amarillo (Region 16 Educational Services Center)
Full location details and Texas Medicaid’s official renewal request can be found here.