September 28, 2015


Washington, D.C. - U.S. Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Texas Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer (San Antonio), and Texas Rep. César Blanco (El Paso) today renewed their call for the Texas Legislature to prevent $350 million of health therapy cuts over two years from going into effect in Texas. Last week, the offices of the three elected officials participated in a call with the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to discuss the impending cuts’ likely impact on Texas families. CMS officials expressed concern about the cuts, and said that efforts should be made to prevent reductions to Medicaid reimbursement rates from impeding Texans' access to care.    

On Friday, a Travis County judge issued a temporary injunction blocking the cuts from going into effect on October 1 as planned. Despite the court's action to prevent as many as 60,000 Texas children from losing access to critical health services, the state is expected to appeal the order. 

"A temporary injunction is just that: temporary,"? said Rep. Castro. "Texas leaders must act, or tens of thousands of children in our state could lose access to essential care. It's appalling that officials in Austin might fail to stand up for our kids, especially when they have the power to use an $8.5 billion "rainy day fund" that could solve this urgent problem. These cuts must be stopped - precious lives are at stake."  

"There is nothing more shameful than cutting essential services for the most medically fragile Texans when our state has more than enough resources to care for them," said Representative Trey Martinez Fischer. "I will continue to lead opposition efforts at the state level and will be working closely with Congressman Castro and my federal counterparts to be sure that CMS is fully aware of the devastating effect that these cuts will have on Texas."

"Children from the Texas Border Region are severely impacted by these cuts,"? said Rep. Blanco. "As Chairman of the Texas House Border Caucus, I challenge State Leaders to set politics aside and do the right thing for our kids in Texas."

On September 10, Rep. Castro and U.S. Congressman Gene Green (TX-29) sent a letter to CMS requesting the agency evaluate the cuts and their potential impact on vulnerable children and patients. Every Democrat in the Texas congressional delegation signed the letter. 

"Medicaid is not only a resource, but a lifeline for thousands of Texans including children,"? Green said. "These proposed reductions will severely limit access to medically-necessary services for the most vulnerable in our state. We need a permanent solution."

Today, Texas Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives and in the Texas Legislature have taken to Twitter to encourage constituents to tell their state legislators to #StopTheCuts and protect Texans' access to the services and therapies they need.