House Committee Hears Bill to Expand Medicaid Coverage for New Mothers

Representative Tony Rose (Dallas) filed House Bill 12 to expand Medicaid coverage for new mothers.

“One thing I know we have to do is make sure we protect the lives of Texas women,” Rep. Rose said.

The House Select Committee on Health Care Reform heard the bill on Thursday.

The bill extends health care coverage to a full year for new mothers receiving Medicaid. Prior to the pandemic, this coverage lasted two months. Right now, Medicaid benefits have been extended due to the pandemic, but that ends this spring.

Rose’s rep wants extended coverage to continue for new mothers. Several witnesses testified in favor of the bill. Diana Forester, director of health policy at Texans Care for Children, says she’s heard from women about expanded coverage.

“The thing that keeps coming up is that extended care has allowed me to take care of myself, it has allowed me to get better so I can be close to my family and get back to work,” Forester said.

“My son is a year old. If I didn’t have this Medicaid extension, I don’t know what I would have done,” another witness said.

The bill was given priority House Speaker Dade Phelan (R-Beaumont), who said in a statement:

“As I said earlier, it’s important that this year Texas House makes significant progress in improving maternal and child support in the state, and that starts with extending health coverage for new moms to a full year.”

The Health Reform Committee will decide whether to submit the bill to full consideration.

Right now, Parkland Health has developed its own program to extend coverage for up to twelve months for some of its patients.

They say this bill will allow them to expand it to more patients.

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