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


February 10, 2011
Contact: Janet Elliott (512) 463-0112

Senator Nelson Named Chairman of Medicaid Reform Panel

AUSTIN — Texas Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, today was appointed Chairman of a newly formed subcommittee whose mission is to identify cost-savings in Medicaid and across health and human services programs.

"We must address the unsustainable growth in Medicaid if we are going to meet the state's responsibilities within available revenue and, more importantly, preserve the long-term viability of our health and human services," said Senator Nelson.

State Medicaid spending increases by an average of 9 percent annually. Without changes, costs are projected to double every 10 years.

This week Senator Nelson filed two bills which will serve as the framework to implement the reforms determined by the subcommittee. Senate Bill 23 deals with Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program and Senate Bill 571 concerns other health and human services programs.

The Subcommittee on Medicaid will begin hearings next week. Senator Nelson is chairman of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee and a member of the Senate Finance Committee, which is grappling with the state's budget challenges. The Finance Committee is splitting into two subcommittees that will focus on developing budgets for the two major areas of state spending -- education and health and human services.

"The subcommittee will work to identify efficiencies and consolidate administrative functions in our health and human services programs while protecting vulnerable Texans who use these services," Senator Nelson said.

Senator Nelson represents Senate District 12, which includes portions of Denton and Tarrant counties. She is Chairman of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee.