Texas Legislature Gifts Back Local Control of Health Care

By Bill Rusteberg

A Texas state government health plan established 20 years ago as a solution to rising health care costs incorporates a legacy, status quo managed care approach that hasn’t changed since it started.

Rising costs have been addressed through outdated strategies that haven’t worked and never will. Cost shifting to plan members has been the overriding strategy, along with state cost shifting to the backs of local taxpayers.

The TRS ActiveCare government health plan for Texas school districts has failed in it’s purpose.

A new legislative bill passed less than a year ago changes all of that. It amends current law by eliminating centralized, monopolistic government control of health care. The bill gifts back local control of health care purchasing decisions allowing plan members the option to access free market alternatives heretofore prohibited by statute.

This supports the theory of those who say more government legislation is needed to solve America’s health care crisis but does not support their intended method. Instead, legislation to undo legislation by taking away and limiting government interference in health care is exactly what Texas has done in this instance.