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Special Session in Review

Me & My OBGAugust 16, 2017Articles

On Tuesday, August 15th the Texas Senate and House of Representatives adjourned Sine Die, and the Special Session of the 85th Texas Legislature came to a close. 

Here’s how legislation related to health care fared:

Sunset legislation to keep state agencies open
SB 20 (Sen. Van Taylor) and SB 60 (Sen. Van Taylor), the Sunset bills continuing the Texas Medical Board, the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, the Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists, the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors, and the Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners until September 1, 2019
PASSED and SIGNED INTO LAW. Effective immediately.

Extending the maternal mortality task force
SB 17 (Sen. Lois Kolkhorst), relating to maternal health and safety, pregnancy-related deaths, and maternal morbidity, including postpartum depression, extends the Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Task Force until 2023.
PASSED AND SENT TO THE GOVERNOR.

Healthcare for retired teachers
SB 19 (Sen. Jane Nelson), relating to the appropriation of money from the Rainy Day Fund to decrease participants’ health insurance costs for certain health benefit plans administered by the Teacher Retirement System of Texas.
DID NOT PASS, but funding was included in the school finance bill (HB 21) to help lower health insurance premiums for retired teachers in TRS-Care.

Prohibiting tax money from going to Planned Parenthood
DID NOT PASS.

Limiting abortion coverage in insurance plans
HB 214 (Rep. John Smithee), prohibits insurance plans from covering “elective” abortions and requires purchasing separate coverage for abortions.
PASSED and SIGNED INTO LAW. Effective December 1, 2017.

Increasing abortion reporting requirements
HB 13 (Rep. Giovanni Capriglione), requires physicians to report certain information when treating/diagnosing abortion complications.
PASSED and SIGNED INTO LAW. Effective December 1, 2017.

HB 215 (Rep. Jim Murphy), requires additional reporting on judicial bypass and requires a physician to certify in writing the identified fetal abnormality for a 3rd trimester abortion. Passed by both chambers and awaiting the Governor’s signature to become law.
PASSED AND SENT TO THE GOVERNOR.

Strengthening do-not-resuscitate protections
SB 11 (Sen. Charles Perry), relating to general procedures and requirements for certain do-not-resuscitate orders; creating a criminal offense passed both chambers and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.
PASSED AND SENT TO THE GOVERNOR.

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