AUSTIN – Director of the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s (TPPF) Center for Health Care Policy John Davidson will testify tomorrow, May 22, before the Texas Senate State Affairs Committee at 8:00 AM in room E1.012 in the Capitol. Davidson will testify on House Bill 966, which relates to the creation of an optional consumer-directed health plan for state employees eligible to participate in the group benefits program provided under the Texas Employees Group Benefits Act.
          
“HB 966 would give Texas state employees the same options that an increasing number of private-sector employees have when choosing health coverage: the freedom to choose a high-deductible plan with a health savings account,” said Davidson. “These are known as ‘consumer-directed’ plans because they empower employees to make their own decisions about how to spend their health care dollars.
 
“Over the past decade, both small and larger employers, and a growing number of states, have found that such plans are popular with employees and that they help to control health care spending. Studies have shown that employees with consumer-directed plans use preventative services and generic drugs for chronic conditions at a higher rate than employees in traditional plans. As a result, they go to the emergency room less often and are less likely to use inpatient services.
 
“This is a common-sense bill that would give state employees greater choice and help control state health care spending—not by cutting benefits but by empowering patients to be consumers and thus bringing market forces to bear on our health care system. HB 966 won’t solve all our health care problems, but it’s a big step in the right direction.”
 
To schedule an interview with Mr. Davidson please contact Caroline Espinosa at cespinosa@texaspolicy.com or 512-472-2700.

John Davidson is the Director of the Center for Health Care Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. 

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin, Texas.

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