Visualizing Days of Lege Debate: Health Care

The Legislature passed several health-care related measures: The Abortion-Sonogram bill, a significant defunding of Planned Parenthood and incentive-based Medicaid fiscal changes all made it to the governor’s desk, eventually. Use this interactive to find what lawmakers said about federal health care reform, attempts to give the state more control over Medicaid and Medicare and funding for family planning and women's health programs, among other health-care related topics. An overview of the "Visualizing Days of Lege Debate" series can be found here with a brief tutorial on how to interpret the graphs.

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Highlights from the House

March 3, 2011Democrats Attack Abortion Sonogram Bill With Amendments

"...the doctor must provide the sonogram, a description of the sonogram, and the heartbeat; and section 171.055, it explicitly says, this woman may choose not to participate.," — Rep. Sid Miller, R-Stephenville

March 31, 2011House Gives Early OK to Bills Balancing '11 Budget

"The priorities in this legislature cannot be continuing to not fund certain things like the mentally ill that 200 -- $138 million in GR actually would fix the shortfall in our mental health and mental retardation system. And/or would fix the shortfall in where people don't get those drugs they will die," — Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston

April 1, 2011Politics, Not Just Numbers, in Budget Amendments

"Mr. Speaker, members, this amendment simply shifts funding that's been set aside for the abortion industry, moves to it Department of Aging and Disability Services," — Rep. Bill Zedler, R-Arlington

May 19, 2011House Tentatively OKs Medicaid Fiscal Reform Bill

"So, the bill actually transitions the way we pay for health care in our Medicaid and CHIP programs and it incentivizes quality. The purpose of the bill is to improve the health care outcome to the Texas Medicaid and CHIP recipients, and increases efficiencies of these programs by transitioning to a payment system that awards and rewards quality of services rather than the fee for service that we currently have," — Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham

May 24, 2011House Gives First OK to Dewhurst's Health Reform

"Certainly the goal of this is to improve outcomes while lowering the cost of health care. So I'm going to walk through what the bill does," — Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham

June 8, 2011Second Life: Bill Becomes Health Care Christmas Tree

"Again, what is deemed unhealthy today is healthy tomorrow. And I'm just don't know how we can do this discrimination and decide amongst ourselves here, or delegate it to a panel of nutritionists, particularly when we're still going to have the federal government decide this one way or the other. Whether we like it or not I think it's their rule that reigns supreme on this issue," — Rep. Rene Oliveira, D-Brownsville

June 15, 2011House Gives Early Nod to Health Care Compact

"The request is for Medicaid and Medicare, in that it would be a consolidated funding stream that would be based off of a 2010 settle-up year; which is not quite determined yet, Garnet. And then we, as a state, would — You could opt in or out of medicare," — Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham

June 27, 2011Updated: House, Senate Pass Health Reform Bill

"Senate Bill 7 includes the cost containment measures that are necessary to achieve the savings that are assumed in the budget adopted during the 82nd Regular Session. Includes measures designed to improve patient outcomes in Medicaid and the Children's Health Care Insurance Program and across the private health care industry. The bill contains significant protections for various interested parties including pharmacies and the Valley," — Rep. John Zerwas, R-Simonton

Highlights from the Senate

February 17, 2011Abortion Sonogram Passes in Texas Senate

"This bill requires a doctor performing an abortion to perform an ultrasound and the woman then — or sonogram, you can interchange the words. The woman then has the right not to view it, or not to listen to the heartbeat," — Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston

April 14, 2011Doctors, Chiropractors Square Off Over Bill

"Members, this is the practitioner parody bill which deals with concerns that some of the health care practitioners had, including the chiropractors relative to their ability to form business entities or to collaborate with other health care providers also in terms of insurance and the appropriate use of billing codes for professions that are providing similar or identical services," — Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas 

April 19, 2011Senate Approves Health Payment Reform

"Senate Bill 8 is similar to Senate Bill 7 that we just passed in that it contains many of the same objectives: Efficiency, reducing errors and improving patient outcomes," — Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flowermount

April 20, 2011El Paso Hospitals May Be Allowed to Hire Docs

"Over the last three years the district has provided medical care to over 200 people who were shot or otherwise assaulted in Ciudad, Juarez and then transported to the district hospital for treatment of their wounds. The majority of these patients have been either U.S. citizens or legal residents. ... Given these facts, Mr. President and members, the district should be authorized to employ peace officers in the event the situation continues or worsens," — Sen. Jose Rodriguez, D-El Paso

April 28, 2011Senate Approves Medicaid Savings Bill

"The Committee Substitute to Senate Bill 23 reflects literally months of work by the finance subcommittee on Medicaid in which we identified nearly $3 billion in cost savings," — Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flowermount

May 2, 2011Abortion Sonogram Bill Clears Another Hurdle

"It's well established that states have a substantial interest in ensuring that a woman be fully informed of a health risk and abortion and child birth and the consideration of mental health is included. The state furthers this legitimate purpose by ensuring that a woman fully understands the consequences of her decision and not only does the state have an interest in promoting the health and well being of a pregnant woman, we have a profound interest in the life of unborn fetus," — Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston

May 24, 2011Senate Approves Bill on Health Reform Costs

"House Bill 300 updates our medical privacy laws to reflect advances in health and information technology and the increasing use of electronic health records. We know that the misuse of individuals' health information can put patients at risk for severe financial and personal consequences," — Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flowermount

June 27, 2011Updated: House, Senate Pass Health Reform Bill

"The goal of Senate Bill 7 is to eliminate waste and inefficiency in our health and human services to better serve our patients to achieve at least $467 million in savings already assumed in the budget. More importantly these reforms are critically needed to focus our health care dollars on the outcomes that we want for our patients and to contain the unsustainable growth in article two budget issues," — Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flowermount