Surprise Medical Billing Bill Signed Into Law

Stacey Pogue

Yesterday Gov. Abbott signed SB 507 into law, improving consumer protections related to surprise medical billing. Surprise out-of-network medical bills, sometimes called “balance bills,” happen when insurers and doctors fighting over prices jointly pass the buck to a patient who received out-of-network care unknowingly. The Texas Legislature has worked to address surprise medical bills consistently […]

Medicaid Funding in the Texas State Budget

Anne Dunkelberg

Putting House and Senate Budget Cuts in Perspective Eva DeLuna Castro’s Comparison of the Texas Senate and House Budgets includes some of the high-level concerns about the major gaps in both chambers’ Medicaid-Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) proposals. This post and a new linked detailed table provides more details on Medicaid-CHIP, with special focus on […]

Remembering the Bad Old Days of High-Risk Pools

Stacey Pogue

There seems to be a lot of nostalgia among lawmakers for “high-risk pools” these days. In the past, high-risk pools offered high-cost health insurance to people with pre-existing conditions who would have been denied standard coverage by insurers. First, the latest amendment to the federal health care repeal bill would let states gut coverage guarantees […]

ACA Repeal Scheme is Back with a New, Terrible Twist

Stacey Pogue

Media outlets are reporting that two members of Congress – the leaders of the far-right Freedom Caucus and the moderate Tuesday Group, both composed of Republican members—have agreed to an amendment for the stalled U.S. House’s Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) repeal bill. The amendment would make a bad bill worse by gutting protections […]

New ACA Marketplace Rules, Good for Insurance Companies Bad for Consumers

Melissa McChesney

On April 13, 2017 the Department of Health and Human Services released its final “marketplace stabilization” rule. (You may remember that we blogged about the proposed rules when they were released in February.) Regardless of that title, the Marketplace showed signs of stabilization in 2016 under current law. The administration could have capitalized on that progress but instead these rules just fulfill […]

How the ACA Fights the Opioid Epidemic

Every day, on average, 78 Americans die from opioid abuse.[1] But did you know that the Affordable Care Act (ACA/Obamacare) has been the key way that states have developed tools to fight the opioid epidemic across America? The ACA’s expansion of healthcare coverage—including benefits for prevention, treatment and harm reduction—continues to help lessen the epidemic and save lives. […]

Eliminating SNAP’s Asset Test Helps Families Earn and Save

Rachel Cooper

The Texas Legislature recently heard testimony on HB 1533, to modify state rules for non-exempt resources and assets that determine household eligibilty for SNAP. This blog post lays out how removing the current asset test helps Texas families acheive financial stabilty. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the food stamp program, is […]

Administration, Congress Considering More Damaging New Twist on ACA Repeal: Texas Implications

Stacey Pogue

Media reports indicate that President Trump and Congressional Republicans are working to revive their bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with the same harmful provisions plus two new ones. States would be able to opt out of “essential health benefits” and the requirement that health plans not charge people more because they are […]

Medicaid Funding: Like Senate, House Committee Budget Raises Unanswered Questions

Anne Dunkelberg

The House Committee on Appropriations approved its budget proposal on March 29, and a floor vote by the full House is set for April 6. The bill will, as usual, undergo some additional amendments on the House floor. Let’s explore some key Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) provisions in the House Committee bill. […]

Big Week for the Budget

Eva DeLuna Castro

When you’re in a hole – especially a self-induced one – stop digging. The Senate should boost investments in the services Texans need and stop pushing for new cuts to revenue.