House votes to supplement Medicaid funding
AUSTIN — Legislation proposing emergency supplemental appropriations to keep Medicaid funded for the rest of the year was approved by the Texas House on Feb. 21. House Bill 10 authored by Reps. Jim Pitts, R-Waxahachie, and Helen Giddings, D-DeSoto, now moves to the state Senate for consideration. Medicaid serves the poor, the disabled, and older Texans. State funding to Medicaid, like education, transportation and other budget areas, was reduced by the Legislature in 2011 to address a projected budget shortfall. But a robust state economy over the past 18 months and brisk tax collections have improved the fiscal outlook. In response, HB 10 proposes to tap the state’s general revenue fund to the tune of $4.8 billion, $3.2 billion of which is designated for acute care services to be administered by the state Health and Human Services Commission, and a little over $1 billion for long-term care services to be administered by the Department of Aging and Disability Services. Tied to these appropriations are some $6.6 billion in federal funds.