Senator Jane Nelson
P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
Fax (512) 463-0923

PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 2, 2012
Contact: Addie Smith (512) 463-0112

SENATOR NELSON WILL CHAIR MEDICAID PANEL

AUSTIN — Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, today was named the leader of a joint panel that will guide the state's effort to obtain a federal waiver to give Texas greater flexibility in the way it administers Medicaid services.

Governor Rick Perry appointed Senator Nelson Chairman of the Medicaid Reform Waiver Legislative Oversight Committee, established through SB 7, the omnibus health care efficiency reform bill authored by Senator Nelson in 2011. The panel will preside over the state's effort to obtain federal approval of a waiver that would allow Texas to tailor its Medicaid program.

"The one-size-fits-all approach to delivering these services does not take into account the unique challenges we face as a large, diverse, border state," said Senator Nelson. "If given the opportunity, Texas can design a program that meets the needs of our citizens, makes better use of our resources, and focuses our investment to promote healthy outcomes."

The committee, which includes members from the Senate and the House, will coordinate with the Health and Human Services Commission to develop the waiver request. Medicaid makes up about 20% of the state's budget, provides health services to 3.5 million Texans, and costs taxpayers almost $20 billion a year.

The panel must file a report and make policy recommendations prior to the next legislative session. To follow the progress of this and other committees, visit www.capitol.state.tx.us, where you may watch live feeds or sign up to receive meeting notices.

SENATOR JANE NELSON represents District 12, including portions of Tarrant and Denton Counties. She is Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services.

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