Texas State Senate Prepares for Obamacare Repeal

The Texas Senate today unanimously passed Senate Bill 2087 by Senator Kelly Hancock (R-North Richland Hills). This legislation provides flexibility for the state to create a high-risk pool or a reinsurance program, depending on upcoming federal action and guidance.

“Obamacare has been a disaster from day one,” said Sen. Hancock. “As it continues to fall apart, we can’t let people with preexisting conditions fall through the cracks. SB 2087 would put a plan in place so Texas is prepared for whatever comes out of D.C. next. Our office is working closely with federal representatives to make sure Texas is ready for any additional repeal and replace efforts.”

In 1997, the Texas Legislature funded the Texas Health Insurance Pool to provide insurance to eligible Texans unable to obtain coverage because of preexisting medical conditions. The state-level pool was later dissolved when federal law changed to generally prohibit carriers nationwide from rejecting applicants due to health conditions.

Policy changes under consideration at the federal level include providing federal funding for state pools to cover individuals with high cost medical conditions or providing reinsurance that would allow carriers to broadly reduce health insurance premiums.

Since the final method of federal funding remains unknown, but will likely be decided before the next Texas legislative session convenes in January of 2019, provisions must be made in state law this session allowing the Texas Department of Insurance to access any forthcoming federal funds on an interim basis.

For the full text of SB 2087 or its companion legislation, HB 3226, visit: Texas Legislature Online.

Sen. Hancock represents District 9, which includes portions of Dallas and Tarrant Counties. He currently serves as Chairman of the Texas Senate Committee on Business & Commerce.

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