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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.

Texas Feud Over Medicaid Is Costing $7 Million A Day

Since last year, Texas and Joe Biden’s White House have been in a Medicaid funding feud that has been costing Texas hospitals...

Lack of Testing Creates Incomplete Picture of Pandemic in Texas

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is going up daily, but the numbers being reported may not provide a true picture of...

“The Least of These”: Matt Shaheen and the Legislators Who Fail to Help Texans

Shaheen and several of his Dallas area colleagues opposed the insurance mandate for mental health services, as well as speech and hearing disability assistance.

Federally Supported COVID-19 Testing Sites In Texas to Stay Open

The federal government is granting Texas an extension to continue community-based testing at seven sites in Texas that had been slated for...

What Happens If You Miss Routine Health Appointments?

Did you miss your annual mammogram or fail to get to the dentist for a twice-a-year cleaning? Many people have been canceling...

Healthcare Access for New Moms will Have to Face Managed Care

The battle for Medicaid expansion in Texas has allegedly reached a milestone for new moms, as House Bill 133 will extend postpartum...

Texas Gov. Abbott Halts Elective Surgeries in Four Counties Due to Rising COVID-19 Cases

Gov. Greg Abbott on Thursday issued an executive order suspending elective surgeries at hospitals in Bexar, Dallas, Harris and Travis counties. The...

Teens are Struggling. Here Are Ways to Help Them Cope

Teenagers have had their schedules and routines, friendships and other relationships upended by the COVID-19 pandemic.  “The types of...
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What Happens If the State Doesn’t Expand Medicaid?

In mid-April officials at the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services rescinded an extension to Texas’ 1115 Medicaid Transformation waiver. “e...

Paid Sick Leave Ban Gets Contentious Hearing in the House

AUSTIN, TX - Following nearly 7 hours of contentious testimony, the House Committee on State Affairs left pending an anti-sick leave bill by Senator Brandon...

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