Medicaid | KERA News

Medicaid

Texas is “ultimately responsible” for millions of misspent Medicaid dollars, according to a new federal audit, because a state agency failed to properly oversee the contractor that reviewed the medical necessity of Medicaid claims.

Shutterstock

The number of Texans enrolled in Medicaid has grown by 80,000 despite the Texas Legislature's decision last year to reject the program's expansion under the federal Affordable Care Act.

Shutterstock

If you’re a Medicare patient, finding a doctor in Texas can be a challenge.  And there’s a chance Congress is  about to make the task even harder.

In Texas, only 58 percent of doctors take new Medicare patients. That’s partly because reimbursement rates are so low.

Shutterstock

How many days will you have to wait to see a doctor? Depends on where you live. A new study of fifteen metropolitan areas measured average wait time, and the winner? It’s Dallas.

Dallas Area Interfaith

President Obama made a whirlwind swing through Dallas on Wednesday, jetting in for fundraisers and a quick visit to health care navigators at Temple Emanu-El — where he made his pitch for Obamacare in person to Texans for the first time.

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

Even with Obamacare, more than one million people in Texas are in health care limbo. Since the state didn't expand Medicaid, low-income people people like Sheila Anderson won’t have access to government assistance or health insurance subsidies on the marketplace.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released data for the first time comparing average hospital charges for the 100 most common Medicare claims. A Washington Post analysis of the 10 most common medical procedures showed hospitals in Texas routinely had higher prices than the rest of the country.

Governor Rick Perry says he won't sign legislation that expands access to Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. But news that Gov. Mike Beebe of Arkansas is looking into a third option to provide health care with federal assistance is making people wonder if Perry might follow his lead.

Office of Rep. Chris Turner

Gov. Rick Perry has said there’s no way he’ll sign legislation that expands access to Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, what he calls Obamacare.  But one North Texas Democrat believes that issue is still alive and kicking in the legislature.  And Rep. Chris Turner of Grand Prairie says there’s also some good news about money for public schools.

In today’s “Capitol Closeup” he tells KERA’s Shelley Kofler why he’s feeling optimistic.

Uninsured In Texas: A Breakdown

Mar 13, 2013

For five years in a row, Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the country, according to a March report from Gallup.

TimmyGunz / flickr.com

Hundreds of Texans are expected at a rally Tuesday at the state Capitol calling on lawmakers to expand Medicaid as planned under the federal health care law.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

Governor Rick Perry is adamant, Texas will not make Medicaid available to more Texans by taking part in a federal program. But recently other Republican governors in Nevada and Arizona have changed their minds, saying they can’t ignore the billions of federal dollars they’d lose by opting out.

Lawmakers in Austin are now debating what Texas should do, including a senator from  Greenville who also wears a stethoscope.  

Shelley Kofler / KERA

Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst says the Senate has no plans to expand Medicaid to insure more people.

The Obama Administration has offered states funding for Medicaid expansion. Dewhurst said he opposes this measure.

Marlith

Four schools in North Texas went into lockdown Tuesday morning for various reasons. Campus security officials are on heightened alert after last week’s school shooting in Connecticut.

Erica Feliciano

The state of Texas is restoring some cuts it made to low-income, elderly patients on Medicare and Medicaid.

Texas put its new, state-funded Women’s Health Program on hold today, just hours before the retooled program was set to launch. And that means Planned Parenthood will continue getting state money to provide health care to women -- at least for the moment.

You've seen the attack ads on TV. State Senator Wendy Davis, a Democrat, and her Republican challenger, Mark Shelton were throwing elbows Thursday during their first debate.

BJ Austin / KERA News

Several hundred low-income, uninsured Texans want Governor Perry to change his mind and expand Medicaid, as called-for in the federal healthcare law. They’ve traveled to Austin today from Dallas, Houston and San Antonio to deliver petitions to the Governor.

surroundsound5000 / (cc) flickr

The idea of counties expanding Medicaid with the Affordable Care Act is getting some traction in North Texas. Governor Perry has said the state won’t do it.

Neil R (cc) flickr

The state of Texas and the Justice Department are beginning their arguments in a trial over Texas' new voter ID law, setting the stage for a legal battle over the federal Voting Rights Act.

Lawyers for Texas are arguing a 2011 law passed by its GOP-dominated Legislature that requires voters to show photo identification does not violate the Act, passed in 1965 to protect minorities' right to vote. The Justice Department - along with other intervening groups supporting the Justice Department's position - says the law disproportionately discriminates against minority voters.

Vox Efx / (cc) flickr

A federal court has warned Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott to turnover evidence in the Voter ID case or the law will not be in effect by November.

In a sternly-worded order released late Monday, a three-judge panel in Washington said that if Texas doesn't turn-over key evidence in 48 hours, the July trial will be delayed further. Federal attorneys have repeatedly complained Abbott's staff have used legal maneuvers to avoid turning over important documents and keeping lawmakers from testifying.

<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com" target="_blank">Shutterstock</a>

Top officials from state agencies have warned Texas lawmakers that the cost of caring for the state's disabled and poor children and elderly are growing faster than tax revenues.

surroundsound500 / (cc) flickr

State health officials plan to roll out the Texas Women’s Health Program November 1. KERA’s BJ Austin says it will continue family planning services for low income women without any federal funds.

Seattle Municipal Archives / (cc) flickr

The state’s Health and Human Services Commission says it plans to present a funding option for the Women’s Health Program to the Legislative Budget Board soon. KERA’s BJ Austin says that would be good news at Parkland Hospital, where some 9,000 woman are enrolled in the program at risk of being eliminated.

Parkland Hospital says it will not release an independent audit that found safety problems in 15 hospital departments. KERA’s BJ Austin says that’s not what Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins wants to hear.

State of Texas

The Texas Comptroller says the economic recovery is taking hold, producing higher than expected tax revenues.

State Comptroller Susan Combs said that could lead to a $1.6 billion budget surplus for the fiscal biennium ending in 2013. According to data she released Monday to the Legislature, the state is on track to collect $82.7 billion over the next two years. The 2012-2013 budget is only $81.1 billion.

In the last two budget cycles, lawmakers were forced to slash government spending to make up for budget deficits and tap the Rainy Day Fund.

Dallas, TX – Priority one for state lawmakers meeting in Austin next week is to plug a $25 billion budget shortfall. Just how big is that? Well, if you shut down all the prisons, laid off every state trooper, eliminated every service except public education, higher education and health care, you still wouldn't cut $25 billion.

Governor Rick Perry and others have suggested Texas drop out of Medicaid, the federal-state health program for low income children, elderly and the disabled. It's Texas's fastest growing expense.

Pages