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THCA: Protecting Seniors, Respecting Taxpayers the Right Agenda for Texas
Date:1/13/2009

As Legislative Session Opens, THCA Says Investment in Medicaid Should be Key Health Policy Priority

AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Saying that a new Speaker of the Texas House in Austin and a new President of the United States in Washington, D.C. has created new and exciting opportunities in regard to strengthening Texas' long-term care delivery system for the benefit of the state's oldest, most vulnerable seniors, the Texas Health Care Association (THCA) said an approach that ensures Medicaid is appropriately funded will yield positive results for both seniors and taxpayers.

"With a new Speaker in Austin and a new President in Washington, the time has never been better to improve the way we fund and provide for seniors' care in Texas -- and to invest in a modern, efficient long term care system that addresses today's needs and tomorrow's growing challenges," said Tim Graves, President of THCA.

"For the 2009 legislative session, it is more important than ever for the long term care profession and Austin policymakers to work together to finally begin evaluating spending on Medicaid-financed nursing home care not just in the context of a two-year legislative cycle -- and in total isolation from other providers and funding sources -- but in terms of how we can work together to improve care quality across the entire continuum in a way that protects seniors and respects taxpayers," Graves continued.

To do so, the THCA President said, it is essential to ensure seniors are protected, care quality improvements are sustained, key staff jobs preserved, and sector stability is achieved. This can only be achieved, he said, by meeting the Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) Consolidated Budget targets stating $368 million in new General Revenue spending is needed in the 2010-2011 biennium to address the operating and staffing needs of Texas nursing homes -- which serve 60,000 Me
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SOURCE Texas Health Care Association
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