Representative Jeff Leach passes “Women’s Health” amendment to the state budget

This week, State Representative Jeff Leach authored and passed an amendment to the Appropriations Bill, House Bill 1, providing an additional $18 million of existing state revenue to women’s healthcare services, including $15 million dedicated to support essential postpartum care services for eligible women in Texas Medicaid and $3 million to the Healthy Texas Women program.

“Our most important job as stewards of the taxpayers’ money is to ensure that we are funding the priorities of the state and working to ensure that Texas women have access to reliable, high-quality healthcare is at the top of that list,” stated Representative Leach. “Through my amendment to the state budget, we are substantially bolstering these two critical healthcare programs and I am fully confident these funds will make a real, lasting difference for Texas women and their families.”

Specifically, the amendment redirects $15 million to extend postpartum healthcare services for pregnant women under Texas Medicaid from a 60-day period to 12 months, and is contingent upon the passage of House Bill 1110. According to the 2018 Biennial Report published by the Maternal Mortality & Mobility Task Force & the Department of State Health Services, a key driver towards reducing maternity mortality & mobility is increasing access to health services during the first year after pregnancy. Redirecting substantive funds from existing state revenue to this program helps achieve this goal by improving the inter-conception period to improve the health of women, facilitate continuity of care, enable effective care transitions, and promote safe birth spacing. The remaining $3 million in the Leach Amendment was redirected to the Healthy Texas Women program, a valuable service designed to provide eligible Texas women with essential family planning services and other women’s health services while, at the same time, not supporting abortion providers or their affiliates.

This press release was provided by the Texas House of Representatives.