“Addition of Anti-Abortion Amendment Accompanies Approval of Postpartum Medicaid Extension in Texas Senate”

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After the Senate unanimously passed an extension bill, Texas is on the verge of offering a new mother a year of her medical insurance. Medicaid coverage. The bill has already passed the House, but a last-minute anti-abortion amendment has sent it back to the House to reconcile different versions.

Supporters of the bill are calling on Congress to pass a “clean bill” without amendment, to ensure prompt federal approval of Texas’ request for expanded Medicaid coverage. A version of the bill passed last Congress that extends coverage to six months was deemed “unacceptable” by the Federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

But on the Senate floor Sunday night, the bill’s proponent, Senator Lois Kolkhorst, Republican Blenheim, and Kolkhorst, introduced an amendment, implying the bill could not pass the Senate without it. “I was on the phone all day,” Korkhorst said. “My goal is to get this bill across the finish line and to alleviate some of the concerns of members on this floor… I think this is the best compromise.”

At issue is the boilerplate Medicaid wording that the year of coverage begins on the last day of pregnancy. Some anti-abortion groups and conservative lawmakers say the bill encourages abortion because it does not specify how pregnancies must be terminated. . Mr. Korkhorst submitted an intent amendment noting that the bill’s purpose is to “show deep respect for the nation.” Applying Medicaid to women who suffer childbirth or “natural child loss” protects “the life of the mother and the unborn child.” This does not include pregnancies terminated by elective abortion.

Dallas Democrat Nathan Johnson said there was no need to include the language, given that abortion is almost universally banned in Texas. Korghorst told lawmakers the amendment was intended to appease, saying women who had illegal abortions were less likely to seek Medicaid after the fact. “It’s just this language,” Johnson said. “I don’t want to risk a woman’s life…so I’d like this word removed.” “I respect that,” Corkhorst replied. “I’m on this floor with a lot of legislators on a very complex issue…that’s where we’re going tonight.” He said it helped counteract other proposed amendments he was about to attach. She “risked” her Texas application.

Senator Kerry Hancock (R, North Richland Hills), whom Korkhorst spoke with at length on Sunday, pushed the issue to the federal government. “The federal government,” Hancock said. “If they betray us on this matter, they’re betraying the women of Texas.” It will either be negotiated with difference. Governor Greg Abbott said he supports the bill.

The bill took years to develop because the state’s own Maternal Deaths Task Force had repeatedly called for full Medicaid coverage for new mothers. But now the backlash is happening. As the Roe v. Wade reversal trial erupts and maternal deaths and injuries continue to accelerate in Texas, a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers and advocacy groups is pushing the bill almost to the finish line.

Texas is one of only 11 states that have not expanded. Medicaid has prevented her one in four women of childbearing age from having health insurance. While it’s easy to qualify for Medicaid while pregnant and 50% of births in Texas are paid for by federal programs, current state law means these new moms will lose their health insurance just two months after giving birth. Become.

At that point, many women still struggle with childbirth complications and postpartum depression, and a quarter of maternal deaths in Texas in 2019 occurred after coverage would have expired. The bill comes at a critical time as the state is about to initiate policy. It’s to move people off Medicaid after it was temporarily expanded early in the COVID-19 pandemic three years ago.

Texas is reassessing the eligibility of nearly 6 million residents, including those who gave birth during the pandemic and have been on Medicaid ever since. People currently receiving Medicaid should make sure their information is current at YourTexasBenefits.com.

San Antonio Democratic Senator Jose Menendez said on Sunday night, though he’s not a fan of the revised wording: He said he understands the need to get the bill passed in both houses, saying, “If we’re really dealing with lives, first and foremost are the lives of mothers, the health of mothers and the care of our children.” It’s about being able to take care of them,” he said.

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