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"Oh, for God’s sake give us the money" Everyone but Perry and His Followers Want Medicaid Expansion

A recent Bloomberg article confirmed what we have been saying for months - Texans across the state support Medicaid expansion. [The fact that the article tracks our list of groups supporting Medicaid is no accident]. It is not just individuals and families who support expansion - local government and counties, chambers of commerce, hospitals districts and associations, interfaith groups, big and small business, and many legislators on both sides of the aisle have announced their support.

Monetarily and morally, accepting the Medicaid expansion makes sense. Study after study has shown the benefits it would bring Texas, including The Perryman Group’s report that details the potential economic windfall and the Jackson Hewitt report that explains the hundreds of millions many Texas businesses would see in fines if we don't accept the funds. And let us not forget that this is money coming from federal taxes that Texans will all pay into whether we accept the funds or not. Either the money goes to provide cost-saving health care for millions in Texas, or the money will go to the other states that have had enough sense to accept the funds.

The Bloomberg article also points out that many large businesses are on board with Medicaid expansion and multiple large chambers of commerce are sending lobbyists to talk to Republican legislatures about the need to accept the funds. And these groups come from both political parties, looking past political differences to the actual benefit this would have for Texans. 

“This may be the only time that we have taken an actual formal position that is opposite that of the governor,” said Richard Dayoub, chief executive officer of the El Paso Chamber of Commerce. “I don’t know of any issue that has created so much concern across the state and has amassed so much support across party lines and throughout the business sector.”

Yet despite this overwhelming push for Medicaid expansion, Perry and the state legislature are held hostage by “evangelicals and Tea Party-affiliated groups.” And if these are the groups that win this fight, then we all lose.

Bee Moorhead, executive director of Texas Impact, an Austin interfaith group, said opponents are stubborn in the face of facts.

“The numbers are as crystal clear as they are ever going to get,” she said. “You’ve got the business community, the urban counties, the hospitals and the doctors saying, ‘Oh, for God’s sake give us the money.’”

Time to do what’s right, Perry. We all have it figured out, why don't you?