Texas could bring home $7 billion annually in federal dollars and cover more than a million uninsured U.S. adults today. Instead, Texans are stuck in the health care “coverage gap” — lacking the uninsured’s access to health insurance because they earn too much to qualify for Medicaid but earn too little to get federal financial assistance in the health insurance marketplace. Texas has already lost more than $9.3 billion in federal funds that could be providing health care to low-income Texans right now, with billions more on the line.
Texas is among 19 states currently refusing to expand Medicaid or to seek a coverage expansion alternative. Several conservative states have expanded health care coverage while adding features like premiums and wellness incentives for adults. The overwhelming budgetary benefits — and unprecedented opportunity to expand Medicaid under flexible parameters — are why “red states” like Arizona, Indiana, and Montana have expanded coverage. Texas is missing the boat.