UPDATED: The federal government has come through with temporary funding for Texas. It won’t be a bad Christmas after all.
There hasn’t been much big news regarding Texas Medicaid recently, but here is a doozy.
The Dallas Morning News reminded Texans this morning that unless their government finds $90 million more in federal funding, the Children’s Health Insurance Program will end January 31 affecting some 400,000 children in the state. However, more disquieting is the fact that if the program is to end on that date, Texas is obligated to send out notices to these children’s parents by December 22 letting them know the program is ending. A nasty lump of coal for Christmas.
According to the paper, Gov. Abbott is loathe to be the harbinger of such bad news before Christmas and is pushing Texas Health and Human Services to obtain the money. The state agency has already requested the funds from the federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare which has redistributed funds to other states. The federal agency has until December 9 to make its decision about Texas. The $90 million would only continue the program through to February in any case.
So far the only politician in Texas to voice their concern over the end of the program is House Speaker Joe Straus who earlier this year asked HHS Executive Commissioner Charles Smith to get creative and find ways to continue the program. Smith and his agency had enough money to carry the program beyond the January 31 end date but Hurricane Harvey put a dent in those funds.
We’ll see what happens.