Testimony in Support of House Bill 12: Ensure New Moms Have Health Insurance

View this testimony as a PDF here.

Every Texan (formerly CPPP) appreciates the opportunity to express support for HB 12 by Representative Rose. 

The Benedictine Sisters of Boerne, Texas, founded Every Texan (formerly CPPP) in 1985 to advance public policy solutions for expanding access to health care. We became an independent, tax-exempt organization in 1999. Today, we prioritize policies that will measurably improve equity in and access to health care, food security, education, and financial security. We are based in Austin, Texas, and work statewide.

Every Texan encourages this committee to continue your work of prioritizing families by sending HB 12 on to the full Senate. Extending coverage to 12 months postpartum is recommended in Governor Abbott’s budget proposal, the Texas Republican Party platform, the Texas Democratic Party platform, and the Texas Maternal Mortality & Morbidity Review Committee report to the Legislature.

House Bill 12 by Representative Rose passed the Texas House with strong bipartisan support. This bill would continue pregnant women’s Medicaid insurance for eligible women for one year after pregnancy, instead of just 60 days. With this step, and a clean version of the bill that will pass federal requirements, new Texas mothers will continue having access to comprehensive health care services through an established and robust network of providers. HB 12 would allow a new mother to continue seeing her same doctor, mental health therapist or psychiatrist, or specialist and not risk a gap in health care while searching for other health care providers. 

When a new mom becomes uninsured after 60 days postpartum, she can obtain primary care services from a safety-net health center if one is located close by and through the Healthy Texas Women Plus program, but these options are limited and are not a substitute for comprehensive coverage provided by Medicaid or other health insurance

HB 12 Responds to Special Needs of Rural Texas Mothers

For many women in rural areas, there isn’t a safety-net health center in their county at all. If a new mother needs additional medications or specialty care from a cardiologist, diabetes specialist, or physical therapist, she will face big challenges if she must find providers who will treat an uninsured mother.  

In addition, often overlooked is that because of the lower costs of living and lower wages and salaries in rural Texas, higher percentages of new mothers in rural areas have incomes that qualify them for Texas Medicaid Maternity coverage. HB 12 can help balance out the challenges of accessing providers that rural women face.  HB 12 will make it possible for many more rural moms to get critical care that helps them to be the best mothers they can be during important developmental months of a new baby’s life.  

We respectfully ask you to ensure House Bill 12 passes quickly and without amendment.


For additional information, contact Anne Dunkelberg at dunkelberg@everytexan.org.

View this testimony as a PDF here.

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