What They’re Watching: Sen. Nathan Johnson, Texas Legislature


Eli Kirshbaum


In continuation of a long-term effort, Democratic Sen. Nathan Johnson is again advocating for the expansion of Texas Medicaid during this year’s legislative session. We caught up with the senator at our North Texas conference last fall. In light of continually increasing public support for expansion, Johnson introduced three different bills to do so this year, including one to implement a “Live Well Texas” program that utilizes a federal waiver to bring in funding and expand coverage to low-income adults.

While the Republican-led legislature has continued to oppose these measures, Johnson remains committed to the effort.

“Other issues that we need to be looking at are some of the smaller but very significant ones around maternal Medicaid benefits, efficiency of systems, health information exchanges, whether or not we can have a state-based exchange—little things we can do to improve the efficiency of our healthcare system, which can bring down overall costs [and] which can also garner more support from across the ideological spectrum if we can get costs under control.”