After bravely combating a myriad of technical difficulties, Sen. Roland Gutierrez and Rep. Julie Johnson got here in combination on the 2021 North Texas State of Reform Well being Coverage Convention to respond to attendee questions and speak about vital well being care problems in Texas, in addition to spotlight a few of their legislative priorities from each the newest legislative consultation and for the long run.
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Gutierrez and Johnson mentioned they might each proceed to struggle for Medicaid growth, regardless of the invoice’s failure to move. Johnson stated:
“I imagine that may be a vital piece to opening up and increasing well being care and equipped investment for vital suppliers who serve that house.”
Johnson expressed her frustration that regardless of the invoice’s bipartisan make stronger, the state management by no means gave it a listening to after the invoice didn’t move.
Gutierrez emphasised that certainly one of his major priorities this consultation was once fighting insurance coverage firms from pushing again on medical doctors, physicians, and hospitals on philosophy of well being and how much hospital therapy will have to be given. He stated this represented simply one of the vital many alternatives for Democrats and Republicans to paintings in combination, declaring:
“I believe that there’s numerous house for senators and representatives on either side of the aisle to in point of fact have a look at how insurance coverage firms have attempted to regulate the serve as of well being care. We need to paintings in combination in this as a result of by no means will have to well being care be about the base line of the insurance coverage corporate. Well being care needs to be about … taking good care of other people. I believe that there’s numerous urge for food, even from my Republican colleagues, to inform large insurance coverage … the folk within the health facility don’t have a ‘D’ or an ‘R’ at the back of their identify.”
Johnson defined her methods for influencing the well being coverage schedule in a Republican-dominated state, which come with successfully speaking concepts, taking part with teams such because the Texas Scientific Affiliation and different main government in well being care, and having physicians and advocates testify in committee hearings.
Each Johnson and Gutierrez asserted that one of the best ways to struggle for modern insurance policies was once for other people to get entangled at the advocacy aspect and the electoral aspect. Johnson additionally mentioned that reframing how they speak about Medicaid growth could be vital, because it was once a “buzz phrase” in lots of Republican circles.
“What I to find is each time I’ve mentioned Medicaid growth with people, and my Republican buddies that had been in a position to sit down down and concentrate to it … and so I’ve all the time referred to it as ‘greater get entry to to care’ and use different words in order that overlay of political bias isn’t provide, and also you’re in point of fact focusing extra at the coverage.”
Gutierrez discussed that his different legislative priorities had been legalizing medicinal marijuana, supporting unbiased pharmacists, and bettering scientific reimbursements for medical doctors so they may be able to have enough money to stick within the Medicaid device. He additionally commented at the state of the foster care device, and stated Texas must pay social employees extra and lighten their caseloads.
Johnson additionally stated the telehealth bill handed in the newest legislative consultation had to be advanced and made extra tough, particularly relating to broadband infrastructure.