Senate Committees Will Examine Uninsured Rate During Interim Year
By Joey Berlin

HHSC_grants

Texas’ nation-leading uninsured rate will be under the state senate’s microscope in 2020 as part of the interim charges Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has assigned to senate committees. 

The list of interim charges, released last week, directs the Senate Business & Commerce Committee to “[s]tudy and report on ways to … decrease the uninsured rate in Texas” as part of its examination of the cost of health care. 

The state’s uninsured rate – 17.7% in 2018, according to U.S. Census Bureau statistics – is one of a number of health care-related topics senate committees will study during the legislative “off” year. That same charge also directs the Business & Commerce Committee to explore “potential opportunities and recommend best practices to continue to curb rising health care costs.” 

The Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee also will tackle health care costs. 

One of the charges directs the agency to “identify ways to streamline functions and reduce unnecessarily burdensome and costly requirements in the Texas Medicaid program,” and “provide recommendations to ensure the sustainability of the state's health and human services system and judicious use of taxpayer dollars.” 

Other HHS charges will include examinations of: 

  • Ways to improve health care delivery in rural and medically underserved areas; and 
  • Ways to protect children in the child welfare system while preserving families. 

Health care-related charges in other Senate committees included: 

  • Higher Education Committee: Review health institution funding formulas the legislature created during this year’s session for four state medical schools, and make recommendations on whether those mission-specific formulas should be expanded. 
  • State Affairs Committee: Examine ways to reduce the profitability of and demand for human trafficking in Texas; determine ways to increase public awareness on its proliferation and on resources for victims and survivors; and make recommendations to ensure law enforcement and prosecutors can respond to those crimes. 

Interim charges for the Texas House of Representatives, which are assigned by the House speaker, have not been released.

Last Updated On

November 06, 2019

Related Content

Texas legislation

Joey Berlin

Associate Editor

(512) 370-1393
JoeyBerlinSQ

Joey Berlin is associate editor of Texas Medicine. His previous work includes stints as a reporter and editor for various newspapers and publishing companies, and he’s covered everything from hard news to sports to workers’ compensation. Joey grew up in the Kansas City area and attended the University of Kansas. He lives in Austin.

More stories by Joey Berlin