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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.

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Texas Medicare/Medicaid reimbursement rates go up

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Officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have rescinded an extension to Texas' 1115 Medicaid Transformation waiver, saying Trump era...

Judge Halts Dallas Sick Leave Ordinance

A federal judge has halted Dallas from implementing a new ordinance requiring private employers to provide sick time. The preliminary injunction issued...

Texas Fails to Expand Medicaid, Address Health Insurance Crisis

With seven days left until the sine die, the last day for the regular session of the Texas Legislature, lawmakers are poised to do...
Texas Supreme Court on Jan. 15, 2020. Photo credit: Miguel Gutierrez Jr./The Texas Tribune

Rejecting appeal, Texas Supreme Court blocks Austin’s paid sick leave ordinance

The high court let stand a lower court's ruling that Austin's paid sick leave ordinance is unconstitutional because it conflicts with the Texas Minimum Wage Act.
Uninsurance

New Numbers Show Grim Reality of How Many Texans Lack Health Insurance

Texas is once again at the top of the heap when it comes to how many of its residents are without health...

State Health Services Report Says Overdoses Leading Cause of Texas Maternal Deaths

A report released by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) said that drug overdoses, most of them related to opioids, caused the deaths of more new mothers than any other cause between 2012 and 2015.

Get a Flu Shot! It is Very Important This Year.

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a decrease in immunizations for children heading toward the start...

Texas reports on state government efficiency were kept secret. We're publishing them.

Dennis Bonnen (center), then the presumptive House speaker, meets with Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (right) and outgoing House Speaker Joe Straus at a Legislative...

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