Texas Rally for Medicaid Expansion

On March 4, 2019, TDSR joined the Cover Texas Now coalition (CTN) and healthcare advocates from all over the State to demand that legislators give Texans the opportunity to vote on Medicaid Expansion at a rally at the Capitol in Austin.  Speakers included State Senator Nathan Johnson (D-Dallas), author of SB 524 and Senate joint Resolution 34 that calls for Medicaid expansion to be placed on a future ballot, State Rep. Celia Israel (D-Austin) who filed HB 590 and House joint Resolution 48 to also put Medicaid expansion on the ballot, and Rep. John Bucy (D-Austin) author of HB 840, also related to the expansion of Medicaid.

Also present at the rally were Rep. Michelle Beckley (D-Carrollton), Rep. Donna Howard (D-Austin), Rep. Erin Zwiener (D-Driftwood) and Chair Chris Turner (D-Grand Prairie).

TDSR has been advocating for Medicaid Expansion since its foundation in 2014. A Constitutional amendment to put Medicaid Expansion in the ballot is a first step to achieve this goal.  House Bill 565 by Rep. Garnet Coleman, (D-Houston) was in the agenda at the Insurance Committee hearing the day following the rally, on March 5, 2019. HB 565 would expand Medicaid in Texas to cover janitors, cooks, construction workers, child care teachers, and other uninsured low-wage workers. The bill would also codify the Affordable Care Act, including protections for pre-existing medical conditions, into Texas law.

TDSR will continue to advocate for Texans healthcare during the current legislature session.
 Got any concerns, ideas or questions? Please let us know! 

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Senator Nathan Johnson speaking to the crowd. Picture credit: CPPP
State Representative John Bucy III addressing the crowd.
Advocates meeting with State Representative Diego Bernal
Advocates meeting with State Representative Leo Pacheco
TDSR President Dr. Jaime Estrada Introducing Amy Vilela.

March Meeting- an update from the Community Pathways HUB

Our March 7, 2019 we met at the India Palace restaurant on Fredericksburg Rd. We received an update on the Bexar Health Collaborative- Community Pathways HUB from its Executive Director, Elizabeth Lutz.

Highlights from the Community Pathways HUB update included:

  • Nearly 500 participants have been referred to the program since its inception of which 377 are currently enrolled. Trained Community Health Workers (CHW) are assigned a case load consisting of individuals and families willing to accept community services and social interventions to improve the clients’ social, health and economic well-being.

•          The program provides access to resources in the community ranging from healthcare,    jobs training, transportation, education, etc.

•          Nineteen “Pathways” serve as the CHW’s resource map, with clients placed on specific pathways relevant to their particular challenges and situation. 

•          The program covers 71 zip codes and has initiated 1676 pathways so far.

The following speakers also participated in the program:

•          Evelyn Delgado, President and Executive Director of Healthy Futures of Texas, gave a report on the recent 2019 Texas Collaborative for Healthy Mothers and Babies Summit held in Austin on January 29-30, 2019.

•          Dr. Carlos Jaen, Professor and Chair of Family and Community Medicine at UT Health, gave a report of the recent San Antonio Substance Use (SASU) 2019 GetWaiveredTX Campaign.  GetWaivedTX allows Clinicians to prescribe Buprenorphine for patients being treated for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD).  In addition to Dr. Jaen, TDSR members Dr. Richard Switzer and Dr. Jaime Estrada also attended this important symposium.

•          Dr. Dan Deane, TDSR member, gave a report of the recent meeting of the SA Trauma Informed Care Consortium for Dr. Edward Dick who was unable to attend.

•          Kori Eberle, San Antonio Metro Health Program Director, discussed the upcoming SA Faith-Based Initiative (FBI), scheduled for March 22, 2019 at Antioch Baptist Church.

A community driven approach is influential is improving the outcomes of families. Let us know what you think about the Community Pathways HUB and if you have innovative ideas that can expand services to the most vulnerable.

Elizabeth Lutz highlighting the success of the Community Pathways HUB program
TDSR Board Members discussing current efforts to improve healthcare in Texas
Amy Vilela providing an update on Medicaid Block Grants