Turning Down Medicaid Expansion Amounts to Donation to Other States’ Hospitals, Doctors

July 9, 2012
Contact: Christine Sinatra    (512) 473-2274

AUSTIN, Texas—Covering more low-income Texans by expanding the Medicaid program under the nation’s health reform law will help struggling Texas hospitals, support health services jobs and lead to more money in ordinary Texans’ pockets, according to Texas Well and Healthy, a grassroots campaign to promote access to affordable health care. The state’s economy stands to benefit by bringing in more than $70 billion in six years if more Texans enroll in Medicaid under the law.

“Our economy would benefit from this infusion, and our stretched healthcare system needs the boost,” said Eileen Garcia, chief executive officer of Texans Care for Children. “With health reform’s Medicaid decision, we face a choice: either Texas turns around the trend of sending our own people's federal dollars to other states, or we become the nation’s biggest donor to states like California that prioritized bringing health dollars back to their communities.”

Under health reform, federal support will cover 100 percent of the cost of expanding Texas Medicaid for the first three years after the program starts covering more adults  in 2014. In the three years after that, 93 to 95 percent of the cost will be covered federally; the Medicaid expansion will never cost Texas more than 10 percent. From 2014-2019, for the roughly $6 billion that Texas contributes, the state would receive $76 billion in Medicaid funds for patient care, hospitals and health provider services, according to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. The Urban Institute further estimates the state would save up to $8.4 billion, thanks to lower costs  to compensate hospitals for their care of the uninsured, as well as lower mental health costs borne now at the state level.

“The immediate and the long-term savings before us with the Medicaid expansion are as clear as the needs of as many as 2 million of our fellow Texans. Their health and financial wellbeing hangs in the balance,” said Anne Dunkelberg, associate director of the Center for Public Policy Priorities. “Texas leaders’ choice should be easy: Bring our federal dollars back to Texas to expand Medicaid, so we help our state’s people and bolster health economies and jobs here at home.”


The Texas Well and Healthy Campaign is a broad, grassroots coalition working to ensure that every Texan has access to comprehensive and affordable health insurance. After the Court ruling, we have offered six consecutive days of concrete ways Texas can get to work on the nation’s health law.