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HB 253 would establish a five-year strategic plan across the state for addressing postpartum depression. The plan would include increasing awareness amongst the medical community, the public, establishing a referral network, increasing women’s access to formal and informal peer support services, and leveraging funding resources for community-based programs. The board for the program would be created and implemented by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC).
Texas Action opposes HB 253 on the grounds that it violates the principle of limited government. This is not a core function of state government, and it is a role best left to medical professionals and charitable organizations. In fact, numerous charities do a commendable job of addressing postpartum depression without doing so at taxpayer expense, and there already exists a bevy of postpartum services available to women without the involvement of the state. We are also skeptical of placing the state in a position to establish a referral network, as state agencies have a tendency to pick winners and losers in such instances – some doctors would be listed in the network, others would not.