Medicaid is Off the Table: Dewhurst Worried About Fraud While Swindling Texas Out of Billions
Yesterday, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and Senator Jane Nelson (R-Flower Mound) discussed the importance of new proposed legislation regarding Medicaid fraud which they say has cost Texas $6 billion from 2004-2011. “When you defraud the system you are stealing from the taxpayers, from the children, from the poor, the elderly and Texans with disabilities,” Nelson said. “It is a crime against our most vulnerable citizens and we have to change our approach to stopping it.”
Yet at the same press conference, Dewhurst made it clear that Medicaid expansion is off the table for the legislative session and in doing so, is denying health care for 1.5 million Texans that the expansion would benefit. Is this not also a crime against vulnerable citizens that Medicaid is intended to help? The expansion would also be an economic windfall for the state, allowing hospital districts and counties to experience new financial and social benefits, and bring billions of dollars into Texas communities.
Dewhurst himself stated that, “Our Medicaid costs have doubled, doubled since 2002-2003,” yet declines the billions of dollars in federal funds that would be provided by the expansion to help with the exact costs he says Texans are concerned about. Clearly, Dewhurst, along with Governor Perry, who has previously come out saying that Texas will not accept the funds, refuse to bend in their relentless far right ideology, even if it means drastically hurting Texans.
Ironically, Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona, a staunch conservative known for her anti-progressive policies and viewpoints, has come out and said that Arizona should accept the Medicaid expansion funds. “Arizona’s tax dollars would simply be passed to another state – generating jobs and providing health care for citizens in California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico or any other expansion state,” she stated.
How is that she gets it, and Perry and Dewhurst don’t?
This is an amazing opportunity to cover uninsured Texans and draw dollars into our local economies. Texans must come together to declare their support of Medicaid expansion—an opportunity to cover all of our state’s uninsured citizens who earn up to 138% of the federal poverty level.