2005 Legislative Compendium: Indigent Care and the Uninsured

 Texas ranks first in the nation in the percent of uninsured patients, with a quarter of the population ─ more than 5 million Texans ─ lacking health insurance. Despite this ignominious distinction, the issue received little attention during the legislative session, as legislators grappled with school finance and tax reform. Several legislators, including Sens. Kip Averitt (R-McGregor), Eliot Shapleigh (D-El Paso), and Royce West (D-Dallas) filed legislation requiring or encouraging state contractors to offer at least minimum benefits to employees and dependents. However, all the bills stalled in committee.

Most of the bills TMA tracked relating to indigent care were local bills affecting the operations of individual hospital districts. Many of these had implications for the corporate practice of medicine (see the Corporate Practice of Medicine section) versus improvements to the state's indigent health care system.

Of note was HB 2463 by Rep. Mike Villareal (D-San Antonio) and Sen. Kyle Janek (R-Houston). The bill allows counties to form health care funding districts to tax nonpublic hospital outpatient, and emergency department services to increase federal funding for Medicaid and indigent care. Monies generated by the tax will be used to generate local funds to draw down additional federal Medicaid matching funds. The bill applies to Bexar, Webb, Hidalgo, and Montgomery counties. Authority for the new districts expires Sept. 1, 2007.

Indigent Care and the Uninsured TMA Staff Contacts:  

  • Hilary Dennis, Legislative Affairs, (512) 370-1370
  • Rich Johnson, Medical Economics, (512) 370-1315
  • Helen Kent Davis, Governmental Affairs, (512) 370-1401

 

Overview  | Tax Reform | Scope of Practice | Physician Ownership | Inadequate Health Plan Networks (Balanced Billing) | Managed Care/Insurance Reform | Texas State Board of Medical Examiners Sunset and Physician Licensure | Agency Sunset Review  | Corporate Practice of Medicine | Health Care Funding | Medicaid and CHIP | Workers' Compensation | Professional Liability Reform | Medical Education/Workforce | Child Health, Safety, and Nutrition/Fitness | Public Health | Border Health | Rural Health | Mental Health | Trauma/EMS | Prescription Drugs | Medical Science | Long-Term Care | Abortion | Transplantation/Organ Donation | Table of Contents  


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