The Weekly Insight: March 5
Texas Insight’s Recent Reports
- HHSC: Executive Council: The Council met in order to receive updates on selected initiatives, to receive information, and provide public comment opportunity for 12 rules.
- Texas Women in Poverty: Part I: This posting explores female poverty in Texas. It is the first part of a two-part look at how poverty affects women in our state, what it looks like in terms of education, age, employment, and race/ethnicity, what the ripple effects of it might be on children, and how policies to mitigate structural gender inequities might benefit Texas economically and socially.
- HHSC: Policy Council for Children and Families: The Policy Council for Children and Families (PCCF) gathered for their quarterly meeting. The PCCF 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.
- HHSC: The e-Health Advisory Committee: The e-Health Advisory Committee (eHAC) gathered for their quarterly meeting. The eHAC advises the HHS executive commissioner and HHS agencies on strategic planning, policy, rules and services related to the use of health information technology, health information exchange systems, telemedicine, telehealth and home telemonitoring services.
Federal Healthcare Reports
- Medicare and Budget Sequestration: This report begins with an overview of budget sequestration and Medicare before discussing how budget sequestration has been implemented across the different parts of the Medicare program. Additionally, this report provides appendixes that include references to additional Congressional Research Service (CRS) resources related to this report and budget terminology definitions, as defined by BBEDCA.
- Two-Year Extension of the Community Health Center Fund: The Affordable Care Act (ACA, P.L. 111-148, as amended), enacted in 2010, appropriated billions of dollars of mandatory funds to support two programs that focus on expanding access to primary care services for populations that are typically underserved: the Health Centers program and the National Health Service Corps (NHSC)…
- Welfare Reform: Work Status of Single Mothers, In Brief: This report updates and extends the analysis of single mothers’ work experience in the Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report R41917, Welfare, Work, and Poverty Status of Female-Headed Families with Children: 1987-2013, by Thomas Gabe. It analyzes 30 years of U.S. Census Bureau data showing trends in the work experience of single mothers. It provides information for the 10 years leading up to and including the enactment of the 1996 welfare reform law, as well as the 20 years since then.
Texas Healthcare News
- Abbott makes Whitman permanent at DFPS as new report details child deaths: Greg Abbott has made the appointment of former lawman Hank Whitman to the Department of Family and Protective Services permanent, even as new reports indicate Texas continues to lead the nation in child abuse deaths.
U.S. Healthcare News
- Week ahead: Health officials to testify on flu season response: A House panel in the coming week will turn its attention to the U.S. public health response to this year’s deadly flu season. The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations will hear from top public health officials, including Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
- As Trump Pushes Medicaid Testing, the Grading Falls Short: The Trump administration is hoping to transform Medicaid by allowing states to test work requirements, premiums and other conservative policies, but a new government report says federal and state officials do not properly evaluate whether such experiments improve patient care or reduce costs.
- Justice Dept. Backs High-Stakes Lawsuit Against Opioid Makers: The Justice Department is throwing its weight behind plaintiffs in a sprawling, high-stakes prescription opioids lawsuit in Ohio, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Tuesday.
- U.S. Immigration Policy Threatens Shake-Up in Home Health Business: [Two dozen students] are seeking to join a workforce of about 3 million people who help older adults remain in their homes. They assist these clients with things like bathing, dressing, and taking medication on time. About a quarter of these workers are immigrants. But as Congress and the White House consider changes to immigration policy, some people in the home care industry worry that there won’t be enough people to care for the nation’s growing number of elders.
- Trump’s abortion policy sheds light on ad hoc decision-making: The Trump administration’s policy of halting abortions among undocumented minors was established by email through an ad hoc process without formal legal vetting, according to new documents released Tuesday by the American Civil Liberties Union.
- Another legal cloud for Obamacare?: The latest lawsuit against Obamacare poses little immediate danger to the health care law — but it could look a lot more potent if the balance of the Supreme Court changes in the next two years. The case may look like a long shot, given that the courts have upheld the health law more than once. But proponents of Obamacare have notoriously underestimated the stream of legal challenges against the Affordable Care Act, and the staying power of the conservatives intent on scrapping the 2010 law.
- Washington state legislature votes to require insurers to cover abortion: report: The Washington state Legislature on Saturday voted in favor of a measure requiring the state’s insurers to cover abortions and birth control. The Senate voted to pass the measure by a 27-22 vote, according to The Associated Press, after concurring on changes made in the House. The Senate passed an earlier version of the bill in January.
- Like It or Not, Personal Health Technology Is Getting Smarter: With sensors that can collect data on body movements, heart rate, blood pressure and other metrics, the list of health trackers that go beyond activity trackers like Fitbits gets longer each year.
- Trump suggests death penalty to stop opioid epidemic: President Donald Trump on Thursday suggested using the death penalty on drug dealers to address the opioid epidemic, equating providing lethal drugs with murder.