The Texas Tribune, April 20, 2011
It doesn't include a "sick tax." But the Senate version of the state's 2012-13 budget still takes direct aim at hospitals, in an effort to find hundreds of millions of dollars in cost savings and narrow the state's revenue gap. Several budget riders the Senate Finance Committee quietly approved late last week curb how much hospitals are paid for uninsured and underinsured patients, limit how they can use state and federal reimbursements, and open the door to even bigger cuts—all on top of a 10% reduction in what the state will pay most healthcare providers for Medicaid-covered patients, who are typically the neediest. Lawmakers added another half a billion dollars in cost savers into the Senate budget on Monday, from the expansion of managed care into the Rio Grande Valley to programs to better monitor high-priced neonatal intensive care units and use of emergency rooms.