83rd Legislative Session comes to an end; MHM continues the battle at the Capitol

On Tuesday, January 8th, the 83rd Texas Legislative Session began. For a grueling 140 days our Policy team worked tirelessly on public policy and advocacy efforts at the Capitol in Austin, Texas.

Some of these issues included Medicaid Expansion, Mental Health, Healthcare Workforce, Chronic Illness (Obesity & Diabetes), and Implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Strides were made in the area of Mental Health, Women’s Health and addressing shortages in the Healthcare Workforce. In fact, MHM helped to fund the creation of the Texas Women’s Healthcare Coalition, a coalition of organizations promoting access to preventive healthcare for all Texas women.  Through the 83rd Legislative session, funding was restored for Women’s Health meaning women across the state of Texas will now have access to healthcare, which was previously cut during the 82nd Legislative Session. 

MHM’s investment in the issue of Medicaid Expansion was also massive. A series of public policy publications allowed MHM to be at the forefront of the issue. Billy Hamilton, the former deputy comptroller for Texas authored, “Expanding Medicaid in Texas: Smart, Affordable and Fair,” which garnered media attention and shed light on the impacts of expansion for the state of Texas.

The ‘What If’ campaign brought the issue into the living rooms of residents across South Texas.

Further, MHM worked closely with Speaker Straus to address the uninsured rate in Texas. In the end, Medicaid Expansion had 86 confirmed votes for the floor vote. Unfortunately, traction needed to push expansion forward did not pan out. In San Antonio, “anywhere from 100,000 to 300,000 people here who would have received health care will, instead, remain uninsured,” laments Kevin C. Moriarty, President & CEO of MHM. Statewide, this leaves approximately 1.5 million Texans without this option.

The battle continues…