Rubin, Bresette: Health care bill in Congress is a threat to Texas kids

March 22, 2017

March 21, 2017 A few weeks ago, a burly police detective in a coat and tie sat at a wooden table with his wife and squirmy 16-month-old daughter, Sully, explaining to state Senators what it meant to hear his little girl cry. He described to the Texas Senate Finance Committee the joy of hearing Sully cry for the first time after she was silent for the first few months of life. Since then, Sully, who has Down syndrome, has had Read More ...

Texas braces For Medicaid Cuts Under GOP Health Plan

March 17, 2017

Many in Texas are keeping a close eye on the Republican bid to replace the Affordable Care Act. One of the big changes is how it would affect low-income people, seniors, and people with disabilities who get help from Medicaid. And people on both sides of the political spectrum say the Lone Star State is not going to fare well. As the GOP bill, the American Health Care Act, works its way through Congress, Anne Dunkelberg with the left-leaning Center Read More ...

Medicaid in Texas Could Be Facing Cuts from Both Federal and State Lawmakers

March 7, 2017

Medicaid in Texas is facing possible cuts from both the state and federal governments. According to health care advocates, the Texas Senate is proposing a budget that underfunds Medicaid by at least $1.9 billion. Republican leaders in Congress last night revealed a replacement to Obamacare that caps Medicaid funding to states by how many people they have enrolled, which could mean less funding for Medicaid in Texas from the program’s federal partner. That has caused anxiety about the future of Read More ...

Texas house proposes using $1.4B from Rainy Day Fund

March 3, 2017

The chief budget writer in the Texas House on Friday proposed using $1.4 billion from the state’s savings account to pay bills coming due for a wide array of the state’s health and human services programs. The proposal from state Rep. John Zerwas, R-Richmond, would continue pay raises for Child Protective Services workers that state leaders ordered last year. It would also pay for renovations at the state’s aging mental health hospitals and state-supported living centers for people with disabilities. Read More ...


February 28, 2017

AUSTIN – Budget cuts to the Texas Medicaid program have left many of the state’s poorest children with little or no access to necessary health care, according to children’s advocates. They say despite calls by some in the Texas Legislature to restore funding, the current Senate budget plan underfunds Medicaid by at least $1.9 billion and includes an across-the-board budget cut that threatens care for many recipients. Cheasty Anderson, a senior policy associate with the Children’s Defense Fund-Texas, says the Read More ...

The Source: How Will State Budget Cuts Affect Therapy Providers For Disabled Children?

February 27, 2017

A $350 million budget cut approved by state lawmakers went into effect in December, affecting an estimated 60,000 special needs children in Texas. The cuts targeted Medicaid reimbursement rates to early childhood intervention therapists and providers. Listen: Texas House Speaker Joe Straus from San Antonio previously said reversing the cuts would be a top priority for the current legislative session, but it’s still unclear whether other lawmakers will follow suit. Without the support of early childhood intervention therapists that Medicaid Read More ...

Budget cuts hinder children with disabilities

February 15, 2017

Disabled children and their families shouldn’t have to jump through hoops for any type of state-funded care. These kids need the state’s help, and we should be able to provide for them. But lawmakers tightened the budget and, with it, reduced access to life-altering services. A $350 million Medicaid budget cut went into effect last December. The cut sliced off funding for pediatric therapy, potentially affecting as many as 60,000 children and their families. Medicaid therapy cuts meant many children Read More ...

Severely disabled kids called at risk as Texas enacts Medicaid cost savings plan  Texas Legislature Dallas News

Severely disabled kids’ lives at risk, parents say, as Texas enacts Medicaid cost-savings plan

February 13, 2017

AUSTIN — Amy Pratt drove her severely disabled son, Quinten, four-plus hours to Children’s Medical Center Dallas only to learn the insurance company that Texas hired to care for him had suddenly denied payment for an important procedure, one that could potentially save the 9-year-old’s life. In El Paso, 11-year-old Rudy Smith lost most of the therapy services that helped him cope with cerebral palsy and a severe form of epilepsy, which plagues him with 50 to 100 seizures a Read More ...

Bexar County therapy providers project financial losses under Medicaid cuts

February 4, 2017

After Texas moved forward with cuts in Medicaid reimbursements to therapists who work with disabled children, providers in Bexar County are projecting losses in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. The reimbursements under the state Medicaid program cover physical, occupational and speech therapy for poor children with disabilities. The state Legislature previously approved $350 million in cuts, though now some legislators, including House Speaker Joe Straus, are working on a plan to reverse them. Kim Jefferies, chief executive officer of Read More ...

House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio. JAY JANNER / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Debate over Medicaid therapy cuts to be warm-up budget battle

January 31, 2017

As Texas House and Senate leaders gird for a high-stakes fight over the state budget, a preliminary round of that showdown is taking shape over whether to partially undo cuts to a Medicaid program that reimburses therapists who serve low-income people with disabilities. House Speaker Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, is hoping to lessen the burden of the cuts the Legislature adopted in 2015 through the coming supplemental budget, which plugs holes in the current budget, for 2016 and 2017, and Read More ...

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