Health care highlights in Texas House’s recently passed state budget

On Thursday morning, the Texas State House unanimously passed its 2020-2021 budget plan. The version voted on by the House came about after hours of debate and hundreds of amendments.

Of the $251 billion included in the spending plan, $87.6 billion is dedicated to health and human services.


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Health & Human Services Commission (HHSC):

HHSC was appropriated a total of $79.9 billion in both federal and state funds for 2020-2021. Broken down, the budget allocates $63.7 billion to Medicaid client services, $2.18 billion to CHIP client services, $1.31 billion to Medicaid/Chip support, and $2.85 billion for additional health services.

Specific programs and initiatives funded in the budget include:

  • $486 million for substance abuse services
  • $366.9 million for Women’s Health Programs, including $250 million for the Healthy Texas Women Program
  • $373 million for Early Childhood Intervention Services
  • $933 million for community mental health services for both adults and children
  • $20 million in general funds to operate a grant program “to support community mental health grant programs providing services and treatment to veterans and their families.”

The Capital budget items for HHSC total $1.6 billion with funds dedicated to new facility construction, the acquisition of information resource technologies, data center consolidation, and cybersecurity improvements.


Department of State Health Services:

The budget plan includes $1.7 billion in state and federal funds for the Department of State Health Services. Here, $1.12 billion is slated for public health preparedness and prevention, $388 million for community health services, and $85.9 million for consumer protection services.

Specific funding allocations for the State Health Services Department include:

  • $114 million toward maternal and child health, including $7 million dedicated to combating maternal mortality and morbidity
  • $252 million for EMS and Trauma Care Systems
  • $18.6 million toward reducing the statewide use of tobacco products
  • $175 million to be used toward initiatives related to the immunization of children and adults in Texas

The budget bill now moves over to the Senate, where lawmakers are in the process of finalizing their own budget plan. Once the Senate passes their version of the budget bill, the two chambers will negotiate together to produce the final plan.