May 9, 2011
Calendars, committees, and quorums…
All four of the Society’s priority bills are moving forward in the legislative process. Let’s keep the momentum going!
Prescription Drug Coverage: Preventing Unexpected Changes to Costs
A trio of bills is working toward the same goal: to protect Texans from sudden increases in their prescription co-pays AND to provide notice of these changes before the renewal of their health insurance contract.
HB 1405 (Rep. Smithee): This bill is the farthest along! MS activists testified on behalf of the bill in committee, which then recommended it for passage. The bill was sent to the House floor, where members passed it unanimously! Last week, HB 1405 made its way to the Senate State Affairs committee, which put its support behind the bill as well. Now we wait for a vote by the entire Senate—hopefully this week.
HB 1253 (Rep. Smithee): This bill is right behind HB 1405 and awaiting a hearing in the Senate State Affairs committee.
- SB 547 (Sen. Deuell): This bill is a companion to the House bills by Smithee. Senator Deuell is playing an instrumental role as the Senate sponsor to our house bills, by helping move our legislation through the Senate committees. If needed, the Senator will help move the Senate bill forward.
There are many steps in the legislative process—thanks for staying focused! Each step gets us closer to the Governor’s desk.
Download our bill tracker for step-by-step information and discover the progress you and other MS activists have made this session.
Bill spotlight: HB 3017
MS activists David and Deborah Rankin have shared their powerful story to make a difference! On Friday, they wrote a note to the Action Network to ask for your help.
HB 3017 will ban discretionary clauses—language in insurance policies that allows the insurer to make unfair decisions about paying benefits. The Rankins were personally affected by these insidious clauses, and endured a fight to secure David’s disability benefits when they were wrongly denied. Any Texan with a health, life, or disability policy could be vulnerable to this type of biased assessment.
Last fall, the Insurance Commissioner issued an order banning the use of discretionary clauses. This bill will reinforce that decision in Texas statute and create a safeguard to ensure no more Texas families are adversely affected by these clauses.
Because there is no Senate sponsor for this bill, the House MUST vote this bill out by Thursday at the latest. Your responses to our latest action alert are crucial!
**UPDATE: Thanks for taking action! Over 130 activists responded to our alert. With your help, HB 3017 successfully passed the House on May 9th. Keep your eye out for more Action Alerts!**
Get in on the action.
Are you in the Austin area? Stop by the Capitol and watch the action from the gallery. Contact us if you’re interested in visiting on a day when one of our bills might be up for a vote.
Can’t make it to the Capitol? Watch the action online! The Texas Legislature Online is a wealth of resources: watch live streaming video from the House and Senate, brush up on your legislative procedure, or read up on the Representatives and Senators who are most active in the legislature.
Wondering about some of the strange rules, words, and procedures used in the Texas legislature? The Texas Tribune’s Texplainer will tell you all about “third readings,” calendar committees, “point of orders” and more.
Got a story? Tell us!
As a person affected by MS, what other issues matter to you? Tell us here. http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/26GX23F
Keep your eye on your inbox! We’ll be requesting more action from you in the upcoming weeks as our bills move through the Texas Legislature.
For more information on the priority issues in this email, please visit our website.
Want to join our movement at the Texas Capitol? Your story can make a difference!
Contact your Government Affairs Coordinator, Linnea Nasman, at (512) 340-2711 or email@example.com