Texas has more uninsured people than any other state, whether you count in raw numbers (about 5.4 million) or in the uninsured percentage of the total population (18.4%). But it’s one of only a dozen states that hasn’t expanded its Medicaid program.
Whether lawmakers suddenly change their mind about that program or not, they still have a problem to solve: How do they get health insurance, or cheaper health care, for all of those people?
Every two years, somebody in the Texas Legislature attempts to get the state to expand its Medicaid program. Democrats have tried it. Republicans have tried it. But every year, the Legislature turns a collective deaf ear to the efforts. Texans in Congress even tried going around the state government to get it done, to no avail. Expansion comes with a 9-to-1 match, meaning the federal government spends $9 for every $1 a state contributes.
And states that take part have lower numbers and rates of uninsured people.