“Today’s Senate testimony by Texas Health & Human Services Executive Commissioner Tom Suehs makes clear the extent to which the new federal health care law will disrupt Texas’ ability to manage its Medicaid program, and to which Congress will hijack Texas’ state budget.
“Texas legislators now understand that they will be forced to make additional cuts to education, roads, and public safety to compensate for the higher Medicaid costs imposed by this new federal law. They should communicate these cuts to our congressional delegation so that they can understand the position in which President Obama and the congressional leadership have placed Texas and other states.”
“According to these Health & Human Services Commission projections, the new federal health care law will require at least $27 billion in additional state tax dollars over the first 10 years. Especially after 2020, the cost of Medicaid will crowd out education, roads, public safety, and virtually every other function of Texas state government.
“According to the new federal law (p. 162), ‘A State shall not apply any assets or resources test for purposes of determining eligibility for medical assistance.’ This could allow a person to have $100,000 in a savings account and two Cadillacs in the garage but have the taxpayers bear the full cost of their health coverage through Medicaid. Texans have long believed that people who have financial means that can be used to pay for their own health care should use those funds first, but personal responsibility has fallen out of favor in Washington, D.C.”
Effect of Federal Health Care Reform Legislation on Texas’ Medicaid Program, SFY 2014-2023
2.279 million Increase in Texas’ average monthly Medicaid caseload
237,000 Texas children whose health coverage will be shifted from CHIP (for which the state pays 25%) to Medicaid (for which the state pays 40%)
$27.0 billion Additional Texas General Revenue required to support Medicaid eligibility and program changes
Source: Testimony of Texas Health & Human Services Executive Commissioner Tom Suehs, Joint Hearing of the Senate Health & Human Services and State Affairs Committees, March 31, 2010.
The Honorable Arlene Wohlgemuth is Executive Director and Director of the Center for Health Care Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin. She served 10 years in the Texas House of Representatives, specializing in health care issues.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit free-market research institute based in Austin.
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