Texas’ Republican leadership made sure the state didn’t expand its Medicaid program to poor, uninsured adults — an optional provision of the Affordable Care Act. But low-income parents here are increasingly getting covered by the joint state-federal insurer anyway — through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.
The state program, known as TANF, is funded by a federal block grant, and intended to provide cash assistance to Texans who are unemployed and under-employed and their families. But it also makes those who qualify for the financial help eligible for health insurance through Medicaid, which primarily covers children and people with disabilities.
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission estimates that more than 140,000 adults received Medicaid through their TANF eligibility in May — a 21 percent increase over November.