Both inside and outside the halls of government, Legacy’s public affairs practice moves public policy at the state and federal levels to improve the lives of the patients and communities we serve.
Our policy agenda is made up of the following core areas:
Community health center funding
Legacy’s goal is to ensure the health of safety-net providers remains strong as Congress and state government discuss how to fund healthcare. Our team will work to ensure adequate funding for Community Health Centers at all levels of government.
Affordable Care Act
Our goal is to protect and fix the Affordable Care Act, since it has provided millions of Texans with health insurance. It is also crucial to protect pre-existing medical conditions like cancer and asthma.
Legal Immigrants and “Public Charge”
A proposed rule coming out of Washington, D.C. would effectively knock hardworking, taxpaying, lawful immigrants in the U.S. off Medicaid and other health insurance programs. Legacy opposes this rule change because of the negative financial impact it would have on health care providers in Texas and on the overall health care system in the U.S.
Mental Health Professionals in Schools
In response to the rise in school shootings, Legacy encourages legislators to increase funding for behavioral health providers in schools. School-based behavioral health therapy in schools is a proactive approach to creating a safer environment for all students and school personnel. We are also interested in expanding our school-based behavioral health practice through telemedicine.
Legacy sees approximately 850 women each day. Increasing access to women's health care and promoting healthy pregnancies is a top priority for our team. Our team will focus on policies to reduce maternal mortality – which is acute among African-American women, funding for comprehensive prenatal care, family planning, and postpartum services.
Harris County has the highest rate of individuals living with HIV/AIDS in Texas, so preventing and treating those living with HIV is a Legacy priority. We will be looking to fully fund the Texas HIV Medication Program providing lifesaving drugs, pushing back on any effort to increase stigma for those living with HIV. We will also focus our efforts on increasing funding for HIV prevention statewide.
Legacy promotes policies of inclusion in and out of the exam room. Our focus will be defeating harmful discriminatory legislation, that targets gay and transgender populations and promoting policies such as a statewide nondiscrimination law.
Opioids and substance use
Legacy is committed to mitigating the opioid crisis at the federal and state level, and we will work to expand our substance abuse programs to provide our community the resources it needs to address this crisis. We will focus our policy work on reducing dependence, increasing access to naloxone and providing access to treatment.
In partnership with HEB and the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation, Legacy’s “Little Readers” initiative, acts on the critical research links between pediatricians and early childhood literacy. Legacy is filing legislation, with the help of Representative John Raney, that sets up a statewide competitive grant program making funds available to health care practitioners who want to provide books to their pediatric patients.