(AUSTIN, Texas – Jan. 12, 2021) – As the 87th Texas Legislature kicks off its 140-day legislative session, Texas hospitals outline a public policy agenda focused on strengthening the state’s health care infrastructure to meet the health care needs of all Texas residents.
Among the priorities, Texas hospitals will advocate for:
- Increasing the number of Texans with comprehensive health care coverage.
- Continued support for Medicaid reimbursement rates that more closely align with actual costs of providing care.
- Increased state funding for behavioral health care commensurate with the growing need for services.
- A fair and equitable system of financing hospital payments.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly demonstrated the critical role that hospitals play in the health and wellbeing of the communities they serve,” said Ted Shaw, THA president/CEO. “The pandemic has tested and strained hospitals unlike ever before. Our policy priorities for the 87th Texas Legislature help ensure the financial stability and fair regulatory environment hospitals need to continue meeting Texans’ health care needs through the pandemic and beyond.”
Prior to the pandemic, Texas led the nation in the number (5 million) and percentage (18%) of uninsured residents. Pandemic-related loss of employer-sponsored coverage exacerbates the state’s problem. Increasing the number of Texans with comprehensive health care coverage improves access to timely, medically necessary health care services, boosting Texans’ overall health and productivity.
Texas hospitals’ public policy priorities for 2021-2022 are available from www.tha.org/state.