The center focuses on health care access, immigrants' access to services, food and nutrition, the state's eligibility and enrollment system, and TANF.

Recent Public Benefits Publications

Testimony to the Transition Legislative Oversight Committee on the Draft Report on Health and Human Services Reorganization (12/20/2004)

The Center for Public Policy Priorities offers the following comments to the Transition Legislative Oversight Committee on its draft report to the 79th Legislature.

Despite Uncertain Future of New Computer System for Eligibility Determination, HHSC Moves Forward with Plans to Privatize Health and Human Services (12/10/2004)

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) intends to award a multi-billion dollar contract to a private company to develop and run a new model for delivering health and human services.

Texas Ranks 5th in U.S. in Number of Low-Income Students Eating Breakfast at School (11/18/2004)

Texas' School Breakfast Program serves the fifth highest number of low-income children in the United States, according to a new report by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) in Washington, D.C.

Capitol Forum on Integrated Eligibility (10/26/2004)

Panelists voice concerns, offer recommendations on role for community-based organizations in the Health and Human Services Commission's proposal to replace local eligibility offices with privatized call centers.

Texas Children's Medicaid and CHIP Enrollment: The Facts (10/6/2004)

In response to potentially confusing and at times conflicting assertions presented of late, CPPP has produced this Policy Page, in Q & A format, to provide up to date information about children's Medicaid and CHIP (all from official state agency and legislative sources) against which competing assertions may be judged. While some recent statements are accurate, others are questionable, and all are best understood in context, rather than as isolated "sound bites."

Health and Human Services Reorganization and the Integrated Eligibility Initiative (09/30/2004)

Presentation to Houston One Voice Collaborative.

Texans Can Do Math: Kids Are Missing From CHIP: Austin American-Statesman (09/22/2004)

The Children's Health Insurance Program has become a shuttlecock in the game of state politics. CHIP provides health insurance for children whose families make too much to qualify for Medicaid but too little to buy private insurance.

UPDATE on Medicaid and CHIP Cuts: What Was Restored in Recent Actions? (09/2/2004)

Some confusion has surrounded recent budget announcements by the Governor and actions by the Legislative Budget Board (LBB). This brief Policy Page describes how the actions taken will affect Medicaid and CHIP cuts, and explains which major cuts to those programs remain.

Children's Medicaid and SCHIP in Texas: Tracking the Impact of Budget Cuts (07/23/2004)

This case study, published by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured and co-authored by the Commission's Molly O'Malley, details the impact of Texas' legislative actions on enrollment in its Medicaid and SCHIP programs. Texas experienced the largest SCHIP enrollment decline in the nation between June 2003 and December 2003.

Comments on the Draft Integrated Eligibility and Enrollment Services Request For Proposal (06/18/2004)

The Center for Public Policy Priorities offers the following comments on the Draft Integrated Eligibility and Enrollment Services Request For Proposal (draft RFP) released on June 8, 2004.

Call Centers' Plan Allows Seven Minutes for Eligibility Determination (06/10/2004)

The integrated eligibility model developed by HHSC allocates seven minutes at the new call centers to verify each application for an array of public benefits. The current face-to-face interview to determine eligibility requires up to an hour and a half.

CPPP Presents Comments on Medicaid Estate Recovery (05/20/2004)

The Center for Public Policy Priorities has submitted comments on HHSC proposed rules for a Medicaid Estate Recovery program. HHSC held a set of informal public hearings BEFORE proposed rules were published in April, and a formal public hearing on the rules will be held on May 27, 2004.

Recommendations and Comments on HHSC Proposed Rules for Medicaid Estate Recovery (04/30/2004)

The Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) appreciates the opportunity to comment on proposed rules for Estate Recovery as published At 29 TexReg 4038-4043, April 30, 2004. We commend HHSC staff for the good work that has gone into the HHSC proposal, and we offer additional suggestions we believe would enhance the policy.

State Moves Forward with Plan to Use Call Centers to Enroll People in Key Social Services (04/26/2004)

On March 25, HHSC released a report claiming to make the "business case" for moving most eligibility functions for TANF, Food Stamps, and Medicaid to three call centers. Under the current system, most people apply for these benefits at one of 381 local eligibility offices administered and staffed by the Texas Department of Human Services (DHS).

Immigrants and Public Benefits: Training for Community Service Providers (04/21/2004)

Presentation in San Antonio on the facts about immigrants and public benefits in Texas.

Texas Reaching Only Half of Those Eligible for Food Stamps, Says New National Study (04/21/2004)

Even while state budgets are tight and programs are being cut back to historically low levels, Texas could still take better advantage of federal dollars to serve the hungry and food insecure, says a study released today.

Federal Court Halts State Effort to Deny Medicaid to Certain TANF Recipients (04/14/2004)

In the latest chapter of a legal battle that has been waging for a half year, a federal court granted a preliminary injunction against three Texas state agencies, again preventing them from terminating health care for thousands of low-income Texans.

$469 Million Available Now to Restore Medicaid Benefits for Elderly and Disabled (04/2/2004)

According to the Texas Comptroller, $469.3 million in unused state dollars are available which could be allocated to reduce the health and human service budget cuts passed by the 78th Texas Legislature.

Final Section-by-Section Analysis of HB 2292 (04/1/2004)

Article 1 of HB 2292 provides for the eventual consolidation of all health and human services (HHS) agencies into five agencies, replaces agency boards with advisory councils, consolidates all policy development and rulemaking authority for HHS programs and services with the commissioner of the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), and creates a Transition Legislative Oversight Committee to facilitate the consolidation. An analysis of the major provisions in Article 1 follows, with our major concerns noted.

HHSC Report Proposes Using Call Centers to Determine Eligibility for HHS Programs (03/15/2004)

This report recommends a mammoth undertaking that will affect the local services network and economy of hundreds of communities, could affect the jobs of up to 10,000 state employees at DHS involved in eligibility determination, and radically alters customer access and service delivery in these programs.

Comments on Proposed Amendments to Rules for the State Children's Health Insurance Program: Asset Limits (03/7/2004)

The Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) submits the following comments on proposed rules published in the February 20, 2004 Texas Register (29 TexReg 1491 1494). The proposed language would amend TAC Part 15 Texas Health and Human Services Commission Chapter 370 State Children's Health Insurance Program Subchapter A §370.4 and Subchapter B §370.44.

Ending Hunger in Our Community: Food Security Through Food Assistance (03/1/2004)

Report to better understand the conditions that lead people to access emergency and other food sources and make recommendations to improve food access.

Flyer: Food Stamp Program Income Eligibility Guidelines (01/1/2004)

Chart gives the income eligibility limits and food stamp benefits according to family size for 10/1/03-09/30/04.

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