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Texas has the highest uninsured rate of children, adults, and women in the country. Reform Austin is committed to providing in-depth reporting to illuminate the critical issues and challenges Texans are facing in healthcare.
Texas is one of 14 states that refuses to expand Medicaid coverage. Almost 10 years after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Texas still ranks last when it comes to affordability and access.
Additionally, a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act could cost 1.73 million people healthcare coverage. Texas is the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit.
Texas still ranks among the worst for maternal mortality and low overall for women’s health. One in four Texas women are uninsured. Currently, women can obtain maternity Medicaid coverage until 2 months after childbirth. Advocates have argued that the coverage length is insufficient, and to address the maternal mortality crisis, coverage should be expanded to one year. Though Medicaid expansion would have made the biggest stride in improving women’s health, the policy did not get beyond a committee hearing or House floor vote in the 86th Legislative Session.
Approximately 875,000 Texas children do not have health insurance. From 2016 to 2018, the percentage of uninsured children rose from 10.7 percent to 11.2 percent. In Texas, once a child is approved for Medicaid they are covered for six months. After the six-month period, the state requires parents to file income updates monthly to continue the coverage. If the state determines there is a problem, parents are given 10 days to respond with necessary paperwork. This has led to many children being removed from the Medicaid roles, despite still qualifying for the program.
Reform Austin covers access to healthcare, healthcare quality, mental health, public health programs, and vaccinations. We report on laws the Texas Legislature passes and the effects they have on the healthcare system, as well as the laws that fail. In addition, we report on lawmakers involved to ensure our elected leaders are working for the public good.

Thousands of disadvantaged Texas children dropped from Medicaid

According to a report by Georgetown University’s Center for Children and Families, an estimated 835,000 Texas children went without health insurance in 2017, an...
Texas vaping

Texas Senate Committee Looks at Vaping

Illustration by Carlos Rafael Alvarez Contreras  Texas lawmakers are fuming over vaping. They're frustrated by teenagers buying e-cigarettes....

Texas Startup Offers At-Home COVID-19 Testing

Imaware, based in Houston, is among the first companies to receive federal approval to distribute COVID-19 test kits to people at home.

What is Life Like After COVID-19? Experts Explain.

Whether a patient recovers at home or needs care in an intensive care unit, COVID-19 may affect their future health — possibly...

Abbott’s Relaxed COVID-19 Restrictions for Nursing Homes Now in Effect

Gov. Greg Abbott’s more relaxed policies for family visits at Texas nursing homes, assisted living centers and other long-term care facilities took...

The American Rescue Plan Sweetens the Deal on Medicaid Expansion in Texas

While much has been written about the direct cash assistance in President Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus package, The American Rescue Plan Act...

Valoree Swanson is putting Texas children at risk

If the people Swanson is supposed to represent can’t trust her to do that, what can they trust her to do?

State-run institutions for Texans with IDD floundering, yet flush with cash

For Texans living with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), there are few options for state sponsored long-term care. And with the state...

Advocates Say Expanding Medicaid Could Help the Homeless. Greg Abbott Says He's Weighing Options.

Susan Peake lives at the state-run homeless encampment off U.S. Highway 183 in Austin. Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

Texas Hospitals Cautiously Resuming Nonurgent Procedures

Texas medical facilities are carefully resuming cancer treatments, nonurgent surgeries and other procedures that had been delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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