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Senate Committee on State Affairs - 78th R.S. (2003)

Committee Members
Robert Duncan, Chair
Bill Ratliff, Chair
Todd Staples, Vice Chair
Tommy Williams, Vice Chair
Ken Armbrister
Rodney Ellis
Troy Fraser
Chris Harris
Frank Madla
Jane Nelson
Florence Shapiro
Charges
• Study the implementation of changes made to the state group health insurance plans and identify additional cost-saving measures. Study the feasibility and practicality of offering health reimbursement accounts as an alternate health insurance plan for those insured in ERS, TRS, and university plans. Provide recommendations regarding whether the current method of administering these programs is in the best interest of the State of Texas and the various insured populations, or whether such programs might be more efficiently administered in another fashion.
• Monitor the implementation of HB 1549, 78th Legislature, Regular Session, the Federal Help America Vote Act of 2002, to assure that Texas meets the criteria to secure the proposed federal funding. Make recommendations for statutory changes required to implement federal legislation and improve the efficiency of the process.
• Study the implementation of SB 10, 78th Legislature, Regular Session, and SB 541, 78th Legislature, Regular Session, and make recommendations, as needed, to make health insurance more accessible, and affordable for all Texans.
• Study the April 2003 United States Supreme Court decision in Kentucky Association of Health Plans v. Miller to determine its impact on Texas laws regulating health insurance plans under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and make recommendations to changes in state law to conform with recent federal court decisions.
• Study the reimbursement methodology of health care plans operating in Texas for out-of-network claims, specifically focusing upon the reimbursement of usual and customary charges, and make recommendations on how to improve their effectiveness. The study and recommendations should encompass all plans, including those participating in Texas Medicaid managed care program and should consider federal and state laws as well as Health & Human Services Commission rules relating to the reimbursement of out-of-network claims.
• Study the implementation of HB 4, 78th Legislature, Regular Session, and Proposition 12 in achieving lower medical malpractice rates and providing more access to affordable health care. Monitor and report on trends in medical malpractice insurance rates and the effect of tort reform on access to health care and provider shortages in certain regions, particularly along the Border.
• Study and report on the affordability, reasonableness, and impact of mandatory liability insurance on the nursing home industry. Assess and report on the effects of the admissibility of quality reports.
• Consider the contest for the election for state senator, District 6, between Susan Delgado and Mario Gallegos, Jr.*

Note:
Bill Ratliff (Chair) resigned effective 1/10/2004. Robert Duncan appointed Chair 01/21/2004. (Press Release, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, January 21, 2004.)
Charged by the Lieutenant Governor 1/21/2004. (Press Release, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, January 21, 2004.)
Tommy Williams appointed to the committee and named Vice Chair April 19, 2004. (Press Release, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, April 19, 2004.)
Todd Staples, Vice Chair, removed from the committee April 19, 2004. (Press Release, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, April 19, 2004.)
Florence Shapiro appointed April 19, 2004. (Press Release, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, April 19, 2004.)
Senator Jeff Wentworth was appointed by the Lieutentant Governor to act as Master of Discovery in the contest of the election for state senator, District 6, between Susan Delgado and Mario Gallegos Jr.

* This represents an abstract of the report contents. Charge text is incomplete or unavailable.

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