The Weekly Insight – May 8
This Week in Review
Last Week from Texas Insight
- Article II Issue Docket: HHSC, DFPS, DSHS, Special Provisions—Senate-House Differences
- Health and Human Services Commission: Policy Council for Children and Families: The Policy Council works to improve the coordination, quality, efficiency, and outcomes of services provided to children with disabilities and their families through the state’s health, education, and human services systems. The council produces a biennial report with recommendations to the Executive Commissioner of HHSC and the Texas Legislature. The council includes family members of children with special health care needs and representatives of community, faith, business, and other organizations.
- Health and Human Services Commission: Value-Based Payment and Quality Improvement Advisory Committee: This summary contains supplemental information from reliable sources to provide clarity to the issues being discussed.
- Costs of Chronic Disease: Part I: This posting provides an overview of chronic disease in Texas by looking at leading causes of death, prevalence and direct medical costs. Also included is an examination of the two most expensive types of chronic disease – diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
- Health and Human Services Commission: Behavioral Health Advisory Committee: Review the most recent session.
Healthcare Policy News
- The big news of the week was the passage of the American Health Care Act through the House this past Thursday. In a narrow vote, passing by 217 to 213, twenty members of the GOP broke with the party to vote “no.” The bill faces an unclear future in the Senate, where many Republicans have voiced concern about the provision to roll back the Medicaid expansion. GOP Senators have also taken issue with key components of the bill, suggesting they cannot be included in the bill owing to the budget reconciliation process House Republicans used to pass it.
- The largest opposition to AHCA has been in response to the removal of ACA protections for pre-existing conditions. These “pre-existing medical conditions” include pregnancy, having a C-section, or receiving treatment for sexual assault. In the era of genetic screening, even your genes can be considered a preexisting condition.
- This outrage has sparked big fundraising wins for Democrats. Progressive groups like ActBlue raised at least 2 million within hours of the bill passing the House. Democrats hope this enthusiasm means healthcare will be a critical issue that wins them back the House in 2018.
- Meanwhile, ads in support of House Republicans who voted for the AHCA have launched, airing nationally and on cable television.
- The GOP pushed ahead with the vote on Thursday without waiting for the Congressional Budget Office to issue their report on the updated bill. As the bill faces uncertainty in the Senate, the CBO’s report, expected next week, could enliven debates.
- While awaiting the CBO’s report, the New York Times offers a look at the “winners” and “losers” of the AHCA.
- In his first remarks since the House passed the AHCA, former President Barack Obama spoke broadly about the healthcare debate while accepting the John F. Kennedy “Profile in Courage” Award in Boston. Obama encouraged lawmakers to invoke “political courage” to save healthcare.