HIPP and PACE Signing
Good morning. Jim (Courtney, CEO of University Medical Center), Representative Isett, Mayor Sitton, friends in Lubbock: I am delighted to be with you this morning.
This last session was the best session for health care in recent memory.
The state budget, which I signed into law a month, increases Medicaid funding by approximately $4 billion dollars to a record $25 billion dollars. That means we fully funded Medicaid growth projections and did a better job drawing down federal Medicaid dollars for Texas.
State leaders also increased funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program by $935.7 million.
By investing in Medicaid and CHIP, rural health and medical research, we have invested in a healthier Texas.
And by simplifying the Medicaid enrollment process, we not only expanded access to this program, but put an important focus on encouraging parents to take their children to see the doctor for routine check-ups and immunizations.
Today I came to Lubbock to publicly sign two bills that Representative Isett advocated for, and that will also benefit the health and well-being of our fellow citizens.
When it comes to the spending of health care dollars – which is an important, but also large investment this state makes – we must welcome more innovation.
House Bill 3038 is innovative public policy that saves Texans money while helping to ensure access to health insurance for working Medicaid and CHIP families.
The Health Insurance Premium Payment Program – known in “bureaucratese” as ‘HIPP’ – allows Medicaid to reimburse private group health plans for health care costs of Medicaid-eligible Texans.
It is innovative, because in some instances, Medicaid-eligible Texans can access quality health care through a private employer at a better price.
And by allowing these Medicaid-eligible Texans to access care through their private employer, the stigma of receiving medical care through Medicaid is removed because Medicaid-eligible employees receive care through the employer plan just like all other employees.
All members of the family can be on the same policy and receive care from the same doctors.
At the same time, the state saves money by leveraging its Medicaid dollars with those of the private employer.
Representative Isett asked the question, “if we are doing this with Medicaid-eligible children, why not also for children eligible for the Children’s Health Insurance Program.”
In 1999, the state created the new CHIP program to insure children in working families. It has almost passed its goal of enrolling 428,000, and we expect a half a million children to be enrolled by 2003.
Under House Bill 3038, the state is going to seek permission from the federal government so that CHIP-eligible children will now be eligible for HIPP when it is more cost-effective for a child to be insured under a private plan.
This innovative idea is expected to save taxpayers at least $8.5 million over the next five years.
This bill also seeks to provide tax incentives to help employers of Medicaid recipients provide health insurance.
It's a win for the state, a win for the employer, and most importantly, it's a win for low-income working Texans and their families.
I am also proud to publicly sign Senate Bill 908, authored by Senator Shapleigh, and sponsored by Representative Isett in the House.
This bill expands the Program for All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, what we call the Pace Program for medically frail seniors.
Under the PACE program, Medicaid-eligible seniors can opt to live at home instead of a nursing home or long-term care facility, but use a neighborhood adult day center where they get comprehensive health care.
Everything from prescription drugs to treatment for acute care is provided, and it is provided at a savings to the state.
This bill expands the number of all-inclusive adult care sites from the present number of one, located in El Paso, to sixteen statewide by 2003. Those sites have yet to be determined by the Department of Human Services.
Every Texan among us is worthy of the best care available, at the same time, we need to be innovative on the cost side, providing that care while finding savings so taxpayers get the best return on their investment, and dollars are saved for future needs.
Carl Isett helped provide the leadership Texas needed in the area of health care innovation. The people of Lubbock should be proud. I would like to invite him to say a few words about these bills.
Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) »