What They’re Watching: Rep. Julie Johnson, Texas Legislature


Eli Kirshbaum


Texas Democratic Rep. Julie Johnson is continuing to advocate for progressive healthcare reforms including Medicaid expansion, despite continued opposition to the effort from the Republican majority in the state legislature. She again filed a bill in the legislature this year to establish the “Live Well Texas” program to expand Medicaid, which hasn’t yet received a hearing. At last fall’s 2022 North Texas State of Reform Conference, however, Johnson affirmed that she remains committed to the expansion of the safety net in Texas.

She also noted her commitment to removing barriers to access by reforming the prior authorization process, having introduced legislation this year to ease prior authorization requirements.


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“At the end of the day, there’s a constant theme, which is: Texas’s access to healthcare is woefully inadequate. We’re one of the greatest states, we have one of the largest budgets, we have one of the largest economies, but we’re 49th out of 50th in terms of healthcare access and that’s not acceptable. It’s not acceptable to me, it’s not acceptable to the people of Texas, [and] it’s not acceptable to our healthcare providers, and we must do a better job.”