Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2807
By: Kitchen
Public Health


Texas has enacted many laws that address the provision of health coverage
for its uninsured children. However, low-income adults are often unable to
obtain affordable, quality health care. Workers in families that fall below
200 percent of the federal poverty level are less likely to receive health
insurance through their employer. More than two-thirds of employed adults
aged 18 and older in Texas do not receive health insurance through an
employer.  A January 1999 poll conducted by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
indicated that 86 percent of Americans believe that working poor families
should have access to health care coverage.  Currently, there are a number
of local initiatives that address the health needs of low-income, uninsured
adults who do not qualify for Medicaid.  Through a demonstration project,
these initiatives could receive federal matching funds to expand health
coverage for low-income adults.  House Bill 2807 requires the Health and
Human Services Commission to establish such a demonstration project.  


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does
not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state
officer, department, agency, or institution. 


House Bill 2807 amends the Human Resources Code to require the Health and
Human Services Commission (HHSC) to establish a demonstration project
(project) to provide medical assistance to an adult who has a family income
that is at or below 100 percent of the federal poverty level, is not
otherwise eligible for medical assistance, and is not covered by a health
benefits plan offering adequate coverage. HHSC is required to ensure that
the project is financed using funds made available by certain local
governmental entities to HHSC for matching purposes to maximize federal
funds for the medical assistance program.  The bill requires the Texas
Department of Health (TDH) to administer the project at the direction of
HHSC and to select one or more counties, one of which has at least a
population of more than 725,000, in which to implement the project.  TDH is
required to implement the project no later than January 1, 2002. The bill
requires TDH to evaluate and report to the legislature on the operation and
cost-effectiveness of the project.  


On passage, of if the Act does not receive the necessary vote, the Act
takes effect September 1, 2001.