It’s Official: No Medicaid Expansion for Poor Texans


The Texas state legislature sent an amendment to Governor Rick Perry on Sunday that will formally prohibit the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare.

From Reuters

The proposal, an amendment to a Medicaid-related bill, says state health officials “may only provide medical assistance to a person who would have been otherwise eligible for medical assistance or for whom federal matching funds were available under the eligibility criteria for medical assistance in effect on December 31, 2013.” [...]

Democrats have called on Perry to drop his opposition to expanding Medicaid in the state, which has the nation’s highest percentage of uninsured people. About 24 percent of Texans are uninsured.

What does a refusal to expand coverage and the highest percentage of uninsured look like?

It looks like this. People crossing the border into Mexico for their basic needs.

[M]any of those who live here [in Brownsville] — including poor Latino immigrants, both legal and undocumented — suffer from diabetes and lack of insurance. Some of those uninsured diabetics, including American citizens and others living here legally, used to go across the border to Matamoros, Mexico for insulin. But now with the fear of brutal drug violence and tougher border restrictions, families share their insulin shots rather than risking the crossings.

Even if Texas refuses to expand Medicaid, taxpayers who live in the state will be paying for the benefits that will go to residents of other states, not their fellow Texans.

I don’t believe the state can hold out forever as their problems will only be exacerbated and highlighted as the law comes into full effect over the coming years, but for now there is little anyone can do other than pressure the state legislature to change course.

This may be premature but it’s possible this could hasten the state’s gradual transition into a blue state. The political ramifications of opposing the Affordable Care Act next year and in the following years is uncharted territory because something like this hasn’t happened in a generation.

(photo via AP)

  • notoriousbob

    This is all a self fulfilling prophecy; the medicaid expansion is meant to reduce the number of uninsured indivduals receiving “free” care, thereby reducing the need for hospitals to increase rates on insured people to pay for them. So no expansion=no reduction in rates in Texas=see I told you Obamacare wasn’t going to work. I’m from Missouri, we got the same crap going on here.

  • trgahan

    I’m sure Texas Republicans are just grandstanding to earn the title “Last State to give in to Obamacare!” and will quietly accept the funds in the coming year. That way, they get the benefits while still being able to convince themselves their ideologically pure and any hick-ups in implementation, which the GOP will blow up to look like a grand disaster, they can say “See, that’s why we didn’t want it!”

  • Thx4Fsh

    I wonder what Texas’ Christian ministers are saying about this?–probably nothing. And churches wonder why attendance is dropping. What meaning does their faith have if it does not stand up for the poor and working poor?

    • D_C_Wilson

      I’m sure they’re all talking about what a brave stance Governor Goodhair is taking by keeping those slutty sluts from getting free birth control.