Medicaid Expansion Gains Momentum in Texas and Across the Country

Thursday, February 7, 2013
Medicaid Expansion Gains Momentum in Texas and around the Country

2/12 Update - the Dallas County officials and El Paso County officials are urging Medicaid expansion as well.

Despite Governor Rick Perry’s irresponsible insistence that Texas, the state with the highest uninsured rate (over 25%) in all of America, will not be accepting the Medicaid expansion funds provided by the federal government, it is becoming more and more apparent that the most Texans do not agree (a majority of Texans think we should accept the funds). This includes not only individuals whom would be helped by these funds, but also organizations, local, government, and medical professionals. In fact, the Texas Medical Association (TMA) came out the other day saying that Texas should take the funds, realizing that Medicaid is already strained beyond capacity in Texas and that accepting the funds still allows room for flexibility and possible reform.

This slow warming to the idea of accepting the funds is being seen all over the country. Many of the states with governors that were vocal in their opposition to the Affordable Care Act have conceded that the Medicaid expansion is an opportunity that their states cannot pass up. Among these is Tea Party queen, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. Following in her footsteps are the Republican governors of New Mexico, Nevada, North Dakota, and most recently, Ohio and Michigan. In other red states, people and organizations are coming forward in droves, pushing for Medicaid expansion. Joan Alker, a researcher with the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute conducted a multi-year study of Florida’s Medicaid program, says that, “It will literally save lives if you do the Medicaid expansion.” Another panel in Louisiana, the Louisiana Budget Panel, has also put forward arguments for the state to accept the funds. “Health reform is needed in Medicaid because one in four non-elderly adults in Louisiana is uninsured,” said Steve Spires of the panel.

Hmmm... sounds a lot like another state. Texas, maybe?

As the momentum grows across the United States and in Texas, the pressure is on Perry and the legislature to either help 1.5 million Texans receive healthcare, or fail us all.

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