As 5 million Texans Lack Health Insurance, Lege Still Says No to Medicaid

On the eve of the 87th Texas Legislature, as the state’s dismally large gaps in health care access grew even wider during the COVID-19 disaster, it seemed to lawmakers in both parties like a good time to consider Medicaid expansion more seriously than Texas ever has since the passage of the federal Affordable Care Act more than a decade ago. Yet as on so many issues this session, the high hopes of meeting huge and swelling needs among everyday people amounted to little, even as the number of uninsured Texans neared the 5 million mark.

Out of the dozens of Medicaid bills filed this session, the “Live Well Texas” program proposed by Senate Bill 117 (Sen. Nathan Johnson, D-Dallas) and House Bill 3871 (Rep. Julie Johnson, D-Carrollton) had the most promise. Knowing that the ACA remains radioactive to many Texas Republicans, Johnson and Johnson (no relation) crafted narrower provisions for a plan unique to the state but that would still bring in billions of federal dollars that Texas now leaves on the table rather than expanding Medicaid eligibility.

Source: As 5 million Texans Lack Health Insurance, Lege Still Says No to Medicaid / The Austin Chronicle

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