Comments to DFPS on Nutrition & Staff-Child Ratios in Child Care Standards

Comments to the Department of Family and Protective Services, Child Care Licensing

DFPS must prioritize improvements in group size and child-to-caregiver ratios; nutrition and food service; developmental activities and activity plans; and professional development.

Ensuring Continued Health Care Funding After Stopgap 1115 Waiver Extension

Testimony to Senate Committee on Health & Human Services

The 1115 Medicaid Waiver has provided critical funding for uncompensated care in Texas hospitals and innovative DSRIP projects – including projects to address unintended pregnancy, birth outcomes, and maternal health – in communities throughout the state. With the stopgap Waiver extension expiring at the end of 2017, next year state leaders must develop a Texas plan to expand health coverage in order to avoid a severe cut in health care funding provided through the Waiver. If the Waiver expires without a plan in place, Texas communities would face a $1.3 billion cut in health care funding in 2018 and deeper cuts in the future. It's important to note that whether or not Texas reaches a Waiver renewal agreement, and whether or not Texas accepts Medicaid expansion funding, the federal funding will not be renewed for uncompensated care for Texans who could be covered through Medicaid expansion. Texas must replace those expiring funds before 2018.

Improving Women’s Health and Building Healthy Foundations for Kids

Testimony to Senate Committee on Health & Human Services

The Legislature’s continued efforts on women’s health are critical to ensuring more Texas mothers and babies are healthy and confronting the state’s maternal mortality crisis and Zika threat. Implementation of Texas’ two women’s health programs is an opportunity to build a robust network of providers to serve women across Texas in need of preventive care and health screenings. Services and screenings offered through these programs are an important step towards improving women’s health and birth outcomes and reducing unplanned pregnancies. But continued investment and key improvements should be made to improve the health of moms and babies, address maternal depression, and ensure access to preventive care for teens and young adults. Additionally, to truly improve the health of moms and infants, the state should craft a Texas health coverage plan for low-wage workers to maximize the return of federal tax dollars for health care and ensure Texas women have access to care before and after pregnancies.

In the News: Keep Preteens Out of Juvenile System, Texas House Panel Told

Already facing calls to limit when teenagers are treated as adults in the criminal justice system, Texas lawmakers next year may also see legislation trying to keep preteens from being shunted into the juvenile justice system.