Implications of Healthcare Act Being Reviewed by State

Posted by Jon Weist, on Mon July 16 2012 at 03:52 PM

A meeting already set for last Thursday on Texas’ health-care spending became the first organized hearing for state legislators to discuss the implications of constitutional federal health-care reform, and of Governor Rick Perry’s decision to disavow participation in that program.

One immediately clear implication of not participating is a shift of costs for caring for uninsured Texans from the state Medicaid program to private, not-for-profit hospitals and taxpayer-supported public hospitals located primarily in urban areas, such as John Peter Smith Hospital in Tarrant County.

Outgoing Health and Human Services Commissioner Tom Seuhs delivered two presentations to the health-care subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee. One, found by clicking here, estimates the costs of expanding coverage, as required by the Affordable Care Act, and the changes in the numbers of uninsured with and without expansion. The second, found by clicking here, reviews the program to cover hospital costs for uninsured patients, and reforms needed in that program with or without the affordable care act.

This is a complicated subject with significant ramifications for all Texans. The Chamber is working to provide opportunities for members to understand these issues both from the perspective of employers who do or don’t offer insurance, and to understand the choices and consequences of policy decisions at the state and federal levels.

A more detailed summary of last week’s hearing is here.

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