Exercising the right to vote is a key responsibility of a democracy’s citizens. In local, state, and federal elections, DFC hopes to bring electoral candidates closer to their constituents by asking pertinent questions about health care and providing their answers in our Voters Guide. In addition, we research public information from campaign websites to summarize our leaders’ overall views on health care.
Policy Priorities for the 84th Texas Legislative Session
Fill the coverage gap
Currently, more than 1 million low-income Texans cannot afford health insurance through the ACA Marketplace and do not qualify for Medicaid. Texas must find a path forward in providing quality health care for all its citizens. Healthy Texans mean a healthy workforce and a healthy Texas economy.
Increase physical activity & improve academic success of TX students
With sedentary lifestyles on the rise, it is important that our schools find ways to keep children active. Opportunities to support schools to increase physical activity throughout the day are necessary for the wellbeing of our children. By incentivizing practices and programs for more physical activity, Texas will have a generation better learners and healthier children and families.
Implement an evidence-based approach for meeting the mental and physical health needs of human trafficking survivors
Houston has the largest number of refugees in the US but currently lacks an adequate infrastructure for an integrated refugee care program. Such programs that encompass case management, housing, legal aid, financial assistance, and mental and physical healthcare have been proven to be a social and economic success in many other cities. This approach will garner a long term positive social and fiscal impact for refugees and their new city of Houston, Texas.
Extend Medicaid/CHIP coverage for postpartum women
Considering the great impact a mother’s mental health and wellbeing has on her child, and the clear lack of resources for low-income families, Texas needs to extend Medicaid coverage for postpartum women. Doing so will benefit the state through cost savings by decreasing the risk and numbers of children with mental health, behavioral, and development disorders, experiencing child abuse and neglect, being born prematurely and with low birth weight, needing emergency room and inpatient care, and infant death.
Medicaid coverage for childhood obesity treatment
Currently, there is no precedent set in Texas for the treatment of childhood obesity beyond the extreme measure of bariatric surgery. Modifying Medicaid to include coverage of visits addressing childhood obesity, rather than limiting providers to addressing only the co-morbidities of obesity or to using aggressive, expensive, and irreversible surgery to rescue severe obesity, will allow our health care system to better address the obesity epidemic in Texas.