HB 10

85(R) - 2017
House Public Health
Senate Health & Human Services
House Public Health
Senate Health & Human Services
Health & Human Services

Vote Recommendation

Vote No; Amend
  • Negative
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Negative
  • Neutral


Four Price


Alma A. Allen
Helen Giddings
Ryan Guillen
Tan Parker
Dade Phelan


Judith Zaffirini

Bill Caption

Relating to access to and benefits for mental health conditions and substance use disorders.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated. 

Bill Analysis

This bill would establish an ombudsman for behavioral health care and a mental health and substance use disorder parity work group to help with compliance to federal and state statutes on benefits for mental health conditions and substance use disorders and submit a plan to subcommittees of the legislature not later than September 1 of each even-numbered year. The work group would expire September 1, 2021. The bill would also require health benefit plans that already provide mental health and substance abuse coverage to do so under the same terms and conditions as surgical or medical expenses.

Vote Recommendation Notes

The provision of this bill, found in Subchapter F, creating a new state mandate requiring insurers to treat mental health and substance abuse coverage on the same terms as surgical or medical coverage violates the principle of limited government. Issuing new insurance mandates is not the proper role of the state. Insurance mandates only serve to further increase the already out-of-control cost of health insurance.

We are well aware that this mandate already exists at the federal level and understand the argument that this is not really a new mandate because it only puts state law in harmony with federal law, however we oppose the federal mandate and do not want to see Texas endorse it in state law. We believe that if it is already federal law there is no need to have a state mandate at all. Furthermore, by creating a state mandate now, the legislature will place Texas in the unenviable position of being stuck with a bad law on the books in the event (however unlikely) that the federal mandate is repealed. 

For these reasons we oppose HB 10. We recommend amending the bill to remove Subchapter F. Should such an amendment be adopted we would withdraw our objection to the bill.