The Houston-Galveston Area Council Board of Directors was two members short of a quorum, in part because of very bad weather, and agreed to have a discussion among the members present in lieu of an official meeting. No votes were taken.
H-GAC Chief Operating Officer Steve Howard updated the members on recommendations concerning Regional Healthcare partnership planning regions. Listen: MP3 RealPlayer
“The state has requested a waiver of certain federal rules relating to Medicaid,” Howard said. “The federal government has granted that, and as a part of that process there will be some restructuring of the Medicaid program in Texas.”
Howard said that there are two, three or four regions that are being considered to administer the program.
“Harris County Hospital District has looked at working with adjoining counties,” he said. “The University of Texas Medical Branch has proposed serving most of Southeast Texas, including up into Deep East Texas, except for Harris County. And there has been some rural hospital providers who formed together in a consortium who are really just looking to make sure their voices are heard in the planning process.”
(The following paragraph has been corrected.)
“This is a very confusing situation for everyone involved,” noted Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, who was quoted as saying that he will chair a meeting of officials from nine counties on Friday to discuss issues related to the Medicaid Waiver issues. Judge Emmett has corrected the quote.
“The Harris County Hospital District is holding a meeting Friday with the health care providers from the surrounding counties, about nine or ten, and they have asked if I would be willing to host a subsequent meeting of county judges if that seems to be needed,” Emmett said in an interview on Thursday. “So, I’ve agreed to do that.”
Several members of the public addressed the board regarding public engagement meetings for the Sustainable Communities Planning Grant Program. Listen: MP3 RealPlayer
“This environmental Armageddon that is being created by elitists worldwide is the biggest lie of the 21st Century,” said Ginger Russell of Montgomery County. “It is obvious that H-GAC has bought into this lie by looking at your different departments and you consortiums that you work with, which apply for government money to further implement government regulations with acceptance of funds.”
Calvin Russell named the United Nations Agenda 21 resolution as the basis for the H-GAC program.
“I’m sure that the Houston-Galveston Area Council does lots of good things,” he said. “The sustainable development is the thing that we’re the most concerned with because it has no place in a free society.”
H-GAC Executive Director Jack Steele said the Sustainable Communities Planning Grant Program is not related to the UN resolution.
“Well, I’ll have to confess ignorance,” Steele said. “I didn’t know what Agenda 21 until we started to get these comments.”
Joe Compean of Gulf Coast Interfaith Ministries said he is supportive of the Sustainable Communities Planning Grant Program, but he addressed the board on the need to resolve issues related to the Hurricane Ike Recovery Program and the Medicaid Waiver. Listen: MP3 RealPlayer
Steele said all of the issues on the agenda that could not be resolved because of the lack of a quorum will be included for action on next month’s agenda. Agenda
Those who were not in attendance or represented by an alternate were Austin County Judge Carolyn Bilski, Chambers County Commissioner Gary Nelson, Colorado County Judge Ty Prause, Galveston County Commissioner Ken Clark, Montgomery County Commissioner Craig Doyal, Walker County Commissioner B.J. Gaines, Jr., Baytown Council Member Brandon Capetillo, Conroe Council Member Toby Powell, Friendswood Council Member Michael Barker, Galveston Mayor Joe Jaworski, Huntsville Mayor Mac Woodward, La Porte Council Member Chuck Engelken, Jr., Lake Jackson Council Member Joe Rinehart, League City Council Member Mick Phalen, Pearland Mayor Tom Reid, Rosenberg Councilor Cynthia McConathy, Sugar Land Council Member Thomas Abraham, Texas City Commissioner Dee Ann Haney, General Law Cities Council Member Kay Mudd and Trustee Cynthia Gray, representing the independent school districts. Houston Mayor Annise Parker was absent but she was represented by Council Member Jerry Davis.