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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

GOVERNOR PERRY PUTS MEDICAID COSTS ON AGENDA FOR SPECIAL SESSION

Texas lawmakers won’t even have a chance to head home for a change of clothes. The 2011 Texas Legislature regular session ended yesterday, and Gov. Rick Perry called them back for a special session that begins at 8 am today. The governor, who controls the agenda for a special session, has directed legislators to work on two items that failed to pass in the regular session:

  • A bill needed to balance the 2012-13 state budget, including a $4 billion cut in state spending on public schools; and
  • “Legislation relating to health care cost containment, access to services through managed care, and the creation of economic and structural incentives to improve the quality of Medicaid services.”
The Medicaid bill that died on the House calendar late Sunday night would have saved about $500 million for the state. A few ways it would achieve the savings are by expanding Medicaid managed care into the Rio Grande Valley, requiring Medicaid patients to use medicines on a state preferred drug list, and requiring Texans with disabilities to get home health services through Medicaid first.

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