Senator Ellis Files Health Care Package for 2013 Legislative Session
(Austin, TX)—Today, State Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) filed a health care bill package aimed at implementing key elements of the Affordable Care Act in Texas. Texas has the highest percentage of uninsured in the nation with one in four Texans lacking insurance.
"It is time that we put partisan politics aside and do what is right for Texas. This legislation will bring tens of billions of dollars to the state, expand Medicaid to approximately 1.5 million additional Texans, set up a state health insurance exchange that works for Texas and guarantees that the Commissioner of Insurance has the tools necessary to ensure rates are fair and affordable. The expansion of Medicaid costs less in four years than what Texas hospitals spend on the uninsured population in one year. The needs of these individuals will not disappear if we fail to expand Medicaid, but we will lose out on a nine to one match that other states will utilize and we will continue to pass the cost down to local hospitals and ultimately to taxpayers," said Senator Ellis.
Senate Joint Resolution 8 allows voters to decide on the expansion of Medicaid as allowed under the Affordable Care Act.
Senate Bill 84 creates a state based Health Insurance Exchange and codifies key federal insurance provisions already in effect.
Senate Bill 85 provides the Insurance Commissioner with the authority to approve and deny health insurance rate increases.