As the Texas Legislature crafts the state budget for fiscal years 2018-2019, no version of the House or Senate budget has yet to include a full reversal of the Medicaid rate cuts for acute therapy services from 2015. Unless the cuts are fully reversed, tens of thousands of Texas’ neediest children can expect to lose some or all services – with families living in Texas’ rural communities expected to be hit the hardest.
As we did in 2015, Texas House Democrats are fully committed to taking the lead on reversing the cuts to acute therapy services so we can ensure every Texas child receives the care and support they need. Throughout the week, we will feature videos from the #TXKidsMatter campaign of children asking the Legislature to fully reverse the cuts, to build off last week’s successful online campaign that reached over 200,000 people.
Rep. Sergio Muñoz, Jr has prepared budget amendments to fully reverse the cuts, and House Democrats will follow his lead and that of other Democratic appropriators as we do everything we can to fulfill our promise to protect Texas children.
For the last few weeks, we’ve been following the developments in federal court over the Texas redistricting case, as well as Congress’ attempts to pass TrumpCare legislation. Here’s a brief update on the two stories:
Redistricting: Plaintiffs Seek Injunction for 2018 Election
Earlier this month, a three-judge federal court ruled that the U.S. Congressional District map drawn by the 82nd Legislature in 2011 is discriminatory to Hispanic and African-American voters in Texas, and was adopted with discriminatory intent.
Plaintiffs in the case — including the NAACP, the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, the Texas Latino Redistricting Task Force, LULAC and several African-American and Hispanic members of Congress — are asking for an injunction to ensure the discriminatory maps will not be used in the 2018 election. Read more in the Dallas Morning News.
TrumpCare: Epic Collapse for DC Republicans
Now that President Trump and Congressional Republicans failed to reach a deal on their TrumpCare legislation, the Affordable Care Act is here to stay “for the foreseeable future.” And don’t take our word for it; that’s according to U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan.
One of the interesting stories to emerge from the Republicans’ colossal legislative failure on Friday is that North Carolina and Kansas are now moving forward with plans to expand Medicaid under the ACA, as 31 other states have done. Of course, we know that Texas – the state that has the most to gain with Medicaid expansion – has still failed to do so.
The solution here is simple: Governor Greg Abbott should direct the Health and Human Services Commission to work with the federal government on adopting a plan that draws down Texas’ share of federal tax dollars so that a million more Texans can access affordable health coverage. To not do so needlessly denies Texans the health care they would have if they lived in other states and costs our state billions of dollars a year that we should be recouping from the federal government.
Last week, Republicans in Congress laid out their official plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The policy, already dubbed “TrumpCare,” is expected to cut taxes for corporations and wealthy individuals while making health care more expensive for the majority of Americans.