Statement on Senate Vote on Medicaid Expansion

For Immediate Release
Contact: Peter Clark
April 15, 2015

Austin - Today Texas Senators voted down an amendment by Senator Rodney Ellis to accept Medicaid expansion funds from the federal government. The Medicaid funding is intended to cover approximately one million low-wage workers who currently have no health insurance options and replace the phased out federal funding that hospitals have used to cover unpaid bills for uninsured patients.

The amendment, defeated by a vote of 20-11, would have been attached to the health and human services Sunset bill.

Following the vote, Dr. Laura Guerra-Cardus, Associate Director of the Children's Defense Fund-Texas and a leader of the Cover Texas Now and Texas Well and Healthy coalitions, issued the following statement:

"We appreciate Senator Ellis' efforts. The vote is disappointing for the taxpayers covering unpaid hospitals bills, cooks and cashiers and other workers with no affordable insurance options, rural communities where hospitals are closing, and dozens of Chambers of Commerce calling on lawmakers to take action."

Additional information on the basics of the Coverage Gap, including who is in it, what are the potential solutions, and who supports a solution, is available here.