Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

February 24, 2013

Cook votes for Medicaid bill

From Staff Reports
Corsicana Daily Sun

— AUSTIN — State Rep. Byron Cook (R-Corsicana) voted in favor of a critical piece of legislation Thursday that will allow the legislature to fulfill its current financial obligations to health care providers.  House Bill 10, which received unanimous support in the House, will guarantee that Texas doctors, hospitals and nursing homes continue to provide essential services to Texas residents.

"The swift passage of House Bill 10 was paramount in ensuring we maintain our commitment to provide quality health care for all Texans," Cook said in a release provided by his office.

The current appropriation for Medicaid costs is scheduled to run out in March of 2013. House Bill 10 provides supplemental appropriation of $4.8 billion to support the continuation of vital services such as Medicaid ($4.5 billion) and Children’s Health Program ($75 million).

Due to exceptional growth in the private sector, the state will collect $8.8 billion more in the current budget cycle than originally estimated. This stronger-than-expected performance of the Texas economy will allow House Bill 10 to be paid with existing revenue, the release said.

“This legislation is simply about paying our bills and keeping promises to our constituents,” said Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Pitts, author of the bill. “Through our actions this week we will continue to provide for those most vulnerable in our society.”