The legislation that involves increasing oversight and introducing more patient protections among other improvements was spurred by a Dallas Morning News investigation that uncovered significant problems with the state health program. Other Medicaid news comes out of Massachusetts and New Mexico.
Lawmakers from both parties are rolling out bills this month to overhaul the Texas Medicaid system, introducing protections for vulnerable patients who are denied treatments, increasing state oversight and signaling a crackdown on health care corporations that get richer by providing less care. A package of about a dozen bills aim to fix widespread problems exposed by a Dallas Morning News investigation last year. That series, “Pain & Profit,” showed how companies that Texas pays to care for millions of sick, disabled and extremely poor people were skimping on treatments and medical equipment to boost profits. (McSwane, 2/25)
A Boston-based nonprofit says Massachusetts residents are at risk of missing out on millions of dollars in federal subsidies for a range of programs like Head Start and the Children’s Health Insurance Program if the current federal census infrastructure is not improved. The advocacy group Lawyers for Civil Rights is demanding modifications from the U.S. Census Bureau to ensure an accurate count in 2020. (Dooling, 2/25)
Laura Lucero Y Ruiz De Gutierrez has a heart condition and fibromyalgia and is in danger of developing diabetes. She has health insurance through her husband’s job. But, between the $800 monthly premium for the couple’s coverage and the $2,100 deductible she has to pay down before insurance starts picking up the tab, she doesn’t feel she can afford to go to the doctor when she needs to. She hopes that may soon change. Identical bills proposed in recent weeks in the New Mexico House and Senate would make Gutierrez eligible to buy in to a public health plan modeled on Medicaid. She also could receive state-funded assistance that would save her hundreds of dollars a month on premiums. (Andrews, 2/26)
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