Texas’ Rep. Barton pushing Medicaid bill to help kids with complex cases

After a recent meeting with a Richardson, Texas, family whose four-year-old son has a heart defect and other health complications, Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, said he redoubled his efforts to get a bill passed this year to help “medically complex” cases.

Working with Democrats and other Republicans, Barton, the chairman emeritus of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, helped produce draft legislation that updates an earlier version of a bill intended to improve care for children with complex illnesses underMedicaid, the federal/state health care program that serves the poor. The changes would increase the kinds of health facilities that could coordinate such care. The earlier version had given that responsibility only to children’s hospitals.

At a hearing Thursday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s subcommittee on health, doctors, other health providers and a mother of a daughter with multiple conditions testified in support of the revised legislation, which would replace the original bill, known as “Examining the Advancing Care for Exceptional Kids Act” or ACE Kids Act.


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