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Monday, July 18, 2011

Governor Perry Signs Health Care Compact

Monday, Governor Perry signed into law SB7, the Health Care legislation. The press release is as follows:

Gov. Rick Perry ceremonially signed Senate Bill 7, which will help contain costs in the Medicaid program and improve quality and efficiency in health care. The governor was joined by Sen. Jane Nelson and Rep. John Zerwas at the signing ceremony.

"Texas faces unique challenges when it comes to health care delivery, and Washington's one-size-fits-all approach doesn't fit our needs," Gov. Perry said. "SB 7 provides state-based solutions to rising health care costs by providing millions in savings, rewarding innovation and improving the health care of Texans."

SB 7 will provide Texas $467 million in savings by expanding managed care and streamlining inefficiencies in the Medicaid program. Additionally, the bill establishes the framework for the development of new health care collaboratives and directs the Health and Human Services Commission to establish new Texas Medicaid and CHIP reimbursement models that will reward innovation, cost-efficiency and performance.

"Texans expect us to make efficient use of their tax dollars as we meet our responsibilities to those who rely on state services," Sen. Nelson said. "These reforms will produce a more effective, capable system that focuses our health care dollars on the outcomes we want for patients, and contains the unsustainable growth in our health and human service budget."

"With a cost savings of $467 million dollars, Senate Bill 7 is a critical fiscal matters bill that advances the caliber and efficiency of our health care infrastructure," Rep. Zerwas said. "I am honored to be the House sponsor of a piece of legislation that will expand the use of Medicaid managed care across the state, create an interstate healthcare compact, and establish the Texas Institute of Health Care Quality and Efficiency, directing the state to create a plan that will improve the delivery of health care to Texas."

The Obama administration continues to spend excessively and impose unfunded mandates upon the states, including federal health care reform, which will cost Texas taxpayers more than $27 billion over 10 years for the Medicaid expansion starting in 2014. Gov. Perry remains committed to working with fellow governors and Congress to reign in this federal overreach and pursue the flexibility states need to best administer health care to their citizens.

For more information about the governor's health care initiatives, please visit http://governor.state.tx.us/initiatives/health_care/.
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