Majority of Texans Back Medicaid Expansion, Oklahoma Steps Up and Other Recent Developments
New Poll Confirms Texans Want State Leaders to Accept Medicaid Expansion Funding
A new survey confirms that Texans believe their neighbors should have an affordable health insurance option. The Houston Chronicle and other media outlets recently reported that 63 percent of Texans agree with the Texas business groups, doctors, faith leaders, and others who want state leaders to accept Medicaid expansion funding.
The question remains: Will our Governor and Legislature listen to the people?
You can help us make sure they start listening by signing up to join us and other supporters from all over the state at the Capitol on March 6.
Oklahoma Governor Now Seeking Medicaid Expansion Funding
If Texas leaders need further inspiration to get to work closing the coverage gap, they could look across the Red River to Oklahoma. Our neighbor to the north is the latest "red state" to pursue a conservative, market-based plan to use the federal funding to connect uninsured low-wage adults with an insurance option.
The Republican Governor of Oklahoma, who voted against the Affordable Care Act when she served in Congress, wants to use Medicaid expansion funding to plug holes in the state budget, improve access to health care, and keep hospitals open.
15-Month Medicaid Waiver Extension Gives State Time to Develop Plan to Close the Coverage Gap
As we noted in our last email to you, the federal government is winding down "Uncompensated Care" or "UC" funding to help states cover unpaid hospital bills, and is instead providing states with Medicaid expansion funding to bring down the uninsured rate and avoid those unpaid hospital bills in the first place.
Now that the federal government has given Texas a 15-month extension of the state's 1115 Medicaid Waiver, including those UC funds, state leaders should use the 15 months to develop a plan to close the coverage gap so we're prepared for an eventual cut to UC funding.
Once Again, Texans Urge Senate Committee to Use Medicaid Expansion to Ease Property Tax Pressure
A Texas Senate Committee travelling the state to discuss property tax reform is hearing loud and clear that accepting Medicaid expansion funding should be part of their strategy.
Medicaid expansion supporters raised the issue at the Committee hearing in Lubbock, in sometimes contentious discussions with Committee members at their Arlington hearing, and most recently brought the issue up at the Committee's May hearing in Houston. Local Republican leaders in Houston have also called on the Legislature to accept Medicaid expansion in order to reduce pressure on local property taxes.
We look forward to continuing the discussion as we approach the next legislative session.