Healthcare

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.

State of Texas, Dallas Chamber, Business groups join Dallas sick leave lawsuit

The ongoing lawsuit against the city of Dallas’ paid sick leave has attracted amicus briefs from some high-level supporters, amongst them are...

New hospital shows progress in state’s mental health concerns

The groundbreaking for a new psychiatric hospital located in Harris County this week shows signs the state is moving in a forward...

Abbott’s News Conference Today to Update Texans on COVID-19 Response

Gov. Greg Abbott will give an update on Texas’ fight against COVID-19 at 2 p.m. today. The news conference from the Capitol...

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...

Texas Gets Its First Human Case of West Nile Virus in 2021

Texas has reported its first human case of West Nile virus this year, on Tuesday. A Dallas County resident...

Insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions is under attack in Texas

In February of 2018, a federal lawsuit was filed in Texas, challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Texas v. Azar was...

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...

Harris County’s Top Health Official Has a New Gig

After seven years Dr. Umair Shah, Harris County's top health official, is bound for the Pacific Northwest to be the next Secretary...

These health care workers will be first in line for a COVID-19 vaccine

Health care workers will be the first people in Texas to receive a COVID-19 vaccine once one receives emergency approval from the...

Texas Anti-Vaxxers Oppose COVID-19 Contact Tracing

Texans for Vaccine Choice has launched a campaign against contact tracing initiatives in Texas. The group is concerned about medical information they...

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