Investing in the future of Texas: Health care

Texas 2036 served as a trusted, data-driven resource for the 88th Legislature on issues that matter most for the future of the state. Here’s a look at how we supported health care legislation.

Key Accomplishments: 88th Legislature

In bold steps towards a healthier Texas, the 88th Legislature confronted head-on the escalating challenges of health care affordability and access across the state, initiating ambitious reforms to revive and recalibrate our health care markets, while also improving the efficiency and functioning of safety nets.

Texas 2036 focused our expertise on the root causes of these affordability issues and the gaps in health care services this session. Armed with data-driven policies, we supported strategies to enhance market competition, curb excessive pricing and mitigate unsustainable expenditures. Further, the legislation supported by Texas 2036 would extend Medicaid for new mothers. The result is a dozen bills that will help reshape health care markets and fill crucial gaps in coverage, ensuring a brighter, healthier future for Texans.

Revitalizing Healthy Markets:

To restore competition to health care markets, this bill prohibits contracts that restricts choice or prevent price transparency. This bill demonstrates overwhelming bipartisan support for market competition and consumer rights.

House Bill 711 Rep. Frank (R) / Sen. Kolkhorst (R)

Empowering Smart Shoppers:

To empower Texans who haven’t yet hit their deductible, this bill addresses out-of-pocket expenses by helping patients to become savvy health care consumers, regardless of network restrictions.

House Bill 2002 Rep. Oliverson (R) / Sen. Hancock (R)

Improving Billing Transparency:

Patients deserve a detailed understanding of the charges they incur. This new billing transparency legislation requires providers to issue itemized, plain-language bills.

Senate Bill 490 Sen. Hughes (R) / Rep. Caroline Harris (R)

Optimizing Health Data:

Unlocking the potential of the all-payer claims database will grant researchers access to a wealth of anonymized health care claims data for important research and insights.

House Bill 3414 Rep. Oliverson (R) / Sen. Hancock (R)

Extending Postpartum Medicaid: 

By extending Medicaid eligibility for pregnant women from two months to 12 months postpartum, Texas moms will be better able to care for their babies and themselves.

House Bill 12 Rep. Rose (D) / Sen. Kolkhorst (R)

Ensuring Affordable Prescription Drugs:

To address the skyrocketing cost of medications, Texas will have a new path to import lower cost prescription drugs from Canada.

House Bill 25 Rep. Talarico (D) / Sen. Kolkhorst (R)

Notable Health Care Legislation

Expanded Access to Youth Mental Health Services: Creates an innovation matching grant program for community-based initiatives that promote early access and intervention. SB 26 Sen. Kolkhorst (R) / Rep. Jetton (R)

Medicaid Communication Modernization: Removes barriers to communication with enrollees through modern methods like text messages to provide useful information about enrollment and reenrollment. HB 2802 Rep. Rose (D) / Sen. Blanco (D)

Emergency Telemedicine Pilot: Restores a pilot program in rural areas for regional trauma resource centers to provide emergency medical services instruction and pre-hospital care instruction to health care providers via telehealth. HB 617 Rep. Darby (R) / Sen. Alvarado (D)

Non-Medical Barriers to Health: Improves case management for pregnant women on Medicaid by assessing their non-medical health related needs. HB 1575 Rep. Hull (R) / Sen. Kolkhorst (R)

Insurer Network Directories Improvements: Builds upon prior efforts to create useful provider network directories by expanding the type of providers that must be listed. SB 1003 Sen. Johnson (D) / Rep. Smithee (R)

Physician Access to Patient Benefit Information: Ensures health care providers have accurate, real-time information regarding a patient’s health benefits, including cost-sharing. HB 4500 Rep. Caroline Harris (R) / Sen. Hughes (R)

These bills supported by Texas 2036 have been sent to the Governor pending review and potential signature during the veto period, which lasts until June 18, 2023.