Texas GOP Still Rejecting $100 Billion in Health Care Funding
Updated: Aug 24, 2018
by Shane W, Contributor
Texas Family Project
The Texas GOP has turned down $100 billion in federal money for Texas healthcare.
That’s 1 with eleven zeros. A huge sum of money that was meant to provide health coverage for millions of Texans.
It came in the form of a Medicaid Expansion that was offered to Texans through the Affordable Care Act, but was not delivered as then-Governor Rick Perry and his supporters in the Texas Legislature rejected it for political purposes, claiming that the Obama administration was holding Texas “hostage” by offering of the money. Perry made this claim despite the Supreme Court’s ruling which left the choice to accept the medicaid expansion entirely up to the states. Our federal income taxes pay for the Medicaid Expansion while we receive nothing in return, except for funding the healthcare of people in other states who have accepted the billions of dollars in Medicaid Expansion money.
Texas needs this money.
We have the highest number of people without any health insurance in the country. The Medicaid Expansion would have provided $100 billion in federal money to cover more Texans. It would also promise that the federal government would fund 100% of all new enrollees for the first three years, and no less than 90% of the money after. These new enrollees would be every Texan who is at or below 138% of the poverty line. In other words, the Medicaid Expansion would cover every parent of two who earns up to $33,948/year. Right now, the Texas GOP ensures that no parent of two can get that coverage unless they make $3420/year or less. For reference, the poverty line for that parent of two is $24,600/year - more than seven times the maximum income mandated by the Texas GOP. A non-partisan economic analysis firm also concluded that every $1 in the expansion would generate Texas $1.29 for new jobs and other activity. They were so certain of its benefits that their leader, Ray Perryman, called the Medicaid Expansion a “no-brainer” in an interview with NPR.
Why would the Texas GOP reject all this money just to give 29 other states like California more healthcare money? Aren’t they supposed to be the party of fiscal responsibility? The answer is simple. The Texas GOP wants our healthcare to fail in order to help the Trump administration and the national GOP’s effort to repeal the ACA. When it does, they think we’ll blame it on national Democrats instead of their own nefarious political misdeeds. They think we won’t notice the reality of Texas having the highest uninsured rate in the country. They hope we won’t investigate why we have so many people unprepared for a health emergency, or why our state’s government thinks people living well below the poverty line shouldn’t get healthcare assistance meant for people with low incomes.
Yet Texans notice when we’re getting ripped off. We notice when our taxes are being put to terrible use. With Greg Abbott maintaining Perry’s ripoff, and the Republican-controlled Texas legislature backing him up, there has never been a better time for a change in leadership in Austin.
For the sake of $100 billion in money for Texas healthcare, we must work to repeal and replace these pandering politicians in Austin by electing, volunteering for, and proudly supporting candidates who commit to supporting the Medicaid Expansion.
Our health depends on it.
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