Alert: Special Session Health Care Bills Have Public Hearings Thursday, June 2

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Author:
Anne Dunkelberg /(512) 320-0222 x 102

June 1, 2011

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Major health care bills have been quickly re-filed in the 82nd Texas Legislature’s First Called (“special”) Session. Bills set for a hearing on Thursday, June 2"the third day of the new session"include a stand-alone proposal for Texas to ask Congress to turn Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and all mental health and public health funding into a Block Grant to be run by Texas state government, and to end all federal minimum standards for who gets health care and how federal funds are used [Senate Bill (SB) 5 and House Bill (HB) 5]. Also set for hearing are nearly-identical large “omnibus” bills (SB 7 and HB 7) which set the stage for generally-positive health care payment and delivery reforms, with some troublesome provisions included.

This Policy Page provides a quick overview of these four Senate and House bills, three of which will have public hearings on Thursday, June 2 (SB 5 and 7 at 10 a.m. in the Senate Finance Committee, and HB 7 in House Appropriations at 9 a.m.).