Another legislative session has come and gone, and Texas remains one of 12 states to limit Medicaid coverage for adults, despite studies that demonstrate its benefits to Texans as well as the state’s budget. In addition to several reports that justify expansion, the move has broad public, statewide support. But at the end of the 2021 legislative session, no healthcare expansion of any kind got anywhere near becoming law.
Opponents lament the cost of expanding Medicaid in Texas, but this year, the Biden administration sweetened the deal for expansion with its American Rescue Plan Act. The bill encourages states to expand healthcare coverage for adults up to age 65 with incomes at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level, which is $30,305 for a family of three in 2021. For states that expand coverage, the ARP provides bonus funding to states, in addition to the funding that is there for the taking now. As of now, for every 10 percent that Texas contributes toward healthcare expansion, the federal government will provide 90 percent to get to what is needed.