Tuesday, January 15, 2019

#TXLEGE: House budget proposed CUTTING health care (plus other notes)

"Every prudent man acts with knowledge,
But a fool lays open his folly."
Proverbs 13:16

The House released their budget proposal yesterday.  Obviously, the headlines have been all about the education number (more on that below).  But we noticed something else quite interesting:
Notably, the House budget decreases state funding for health care and human services by about 3.2 percent. Education and health care make up the vast majority of state spending.

[Note: Emphasis added.]
This is interesting.  Medicaid/health care has been the fastest growing component of the state budget for decades.  Getting Medicaid under control could, conceivably, free up money for other items.  This is something for which we've been advocating for years.

At a minimum, it suggests that the House is willing to set priorities.  Yes, they plan to spend more state funds on education.  But, in order to get there, they're going to take the money from elsewhere in the budget.  That would never have happened under the previous house leadership.

As for the education number: It's the beginning of a negotiation.  They asked for a (very) big number.  Don't read too much into this (at least for now).

For now, that the House is willing to cut Health Care is much more important that whatever the final education number might be.

Then there's this:

Obviously, it should take more than a single tweet from a DMN reporter before people blow a gasket.  But this warrants monitoring.  We'll certainly see.

Bottom Line: Obviously, it's early.  Obviously, we'll have to wait and see.  But for the House to take this type of a stand, this early, over health care is new....

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