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Pro/Con: Is Medicaid expansion a healthy choice for Texas?

By JR Ortega
Sept. 22, 2013 at 4:22 a.m.
Updated Sept. 23, 2013 at 4:23 a.m.


Texas joins 14 other states that opted out of expanding their Medicaid programs.

• Alabama

• Alaska

• Georgia

• Idaho

• Kansas

• Louisiana

• Maine

• Mississippi

• Montana

• Nebraska

• North Carolina

• South Carolina

• Wisconsin

• Wyoming


When Texas opted out

Gov. Rick Perry and the Republican majority in the state Legislature rejected the Medicaid expansion in July 2012. Still, Democrats introduced House Bill 3791, which would establish a strategy to expand Medicaid. The bill was not acted upon before the Legislature adjourned the special session.


It perhaps may be the most anticipated, controversial federal act passed in recent time, and Texas does not want to have any part of it.

The Affordable Care Act - called Obamacare in many everyday conversations - will have its first big push toward insuring about 50 million uninsured Americans through its marketplace health care exchange program Oct. 1.

Though health care coverage will be available to and required of Americans as federally mandated, Texas joins 14 other states in opting out of expanding its Medicaid program - an expansion that would make eligible 2 million uninsured adults, according to the Urban Institute.

Still, Texas legislators continue squabbling over defunding the act as a whole, so chances of the state decidedly expanding Medicaid would happen way later, rather than sooner - if at all.

The latest news is the GOP-led U.S. House passing a spending plan defunding the act, which could lead to a government shutdown.

But state legislators are not the only ones wrangling over the expansion. Crossroads area residents, too, remain split over the expansion.

PRO: Expansion would give state billions in funding, thousands of jobs

CON: State should be able to reform Medicaid on its own



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