Texas House Speaker appoints House Select Committee on Health Care Reform

Tags: 87th Texas Legislature, interim studies, health care reform

By Jonathan Nelson

Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan announced interim committee charges for the 87th Legislature on March 10 including several items of interest to family physicians and their patients. The speaker also announced the creation of two special interim committees, one on health care reform and the other on criminal justice reform.

“The interim charges are the result of my conversations with House colleagues from across the state, many of whom have concluded there is more work to be done to reform the state's health care and criminal justice systems,” Speaker Phelan said in a press release. “That’s why I have formed two interim committees to devote special attention to these issues, which I consider of utmost importance heading into the next legislative session.”

According to the proclamation, “the committee is created to provide a cross-jurisdictional forum for the examination and consideration of issues that broadly affect the state’s health care delivery system.”

The House Select Committee on Health Care Reform will be chaired by Rep. E. Sam Harless, R-Spring, and the vice chair is Rep. Toni Rose, D-Dallas. The committee is charged to:

  1. Study the implications of excessive health care costs on the efficacy of Texas Medicaid and the private health insurance market and the resulting impact on Texans, businesses, and state government;
  2. Monitor the implementation of price transparency requirements and study ways the state can support patients and increase competition;
  3. Evaluate innovative options to ensure access to affordable, comprehensive health care;
  4. Study ways to improve outreach to families with children who are eligible for but not enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP; and
  5. Examine the potential impact of delayed care on the state’s health care delivery system, health care costs, and patient health outcomes.

Among the interim charges related to health care, the House Committee on Appropriations has been tasked with reviewing the information technology supporting Texas Medicaid. The House Committee on Insurance will work to identify barriers to competition in the insurance marketplace and look for ways to promote competition, lower premiums, and protect consumers.

The House Committee on Public Health will focus on fentanyl-related overdoses and deaths, explore opportunities to strengthen the state’s health professional workforce including rural physicians and nurses, and study ways to increase access to telemedicine. The committee will also assess ongoing challenges in the rural health care system.

Access the full list of interim charges on the Texas House of Representatives website.

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