The Texas Public Policy Foundation’s CEO Kevin Roberts released the following statement:

“The push to expand Medicaid in Texas completely ignores the disaster most states have experienced. The most important issue is that by extending benefits to able-bodied adults, the system will crowd out the low-income women, children, and disabled Texans the program was designed for. Nothing in the legislation to expand Medicaid fixes the existing problems of wait times, sub-quality care, and access to providers. More than 662,000 uninsured Texans are eligible for Medicaid right now, yet don’t use it because it is a poorly performing program that does not serve patients well. Dumping billions of dollars and millions of people on to a sinking ship is only going to hurt everyone involved.

“Further, whether states are blue, red, big, or small, all have experienced massive difficulties paying long-term for Medicaid expansion. Patient populations explode far beyond projections and budgets are forced to cannibalize other important priorities like education and public safety to afford its ballooning Medicaid expenditures. The Texas Legislature is on track to pass one of its most responsible budgets in decades. All of that will be lost, this budget will bust the Conservative Texas Budget by exceeding the ability of the average taxpayer’s ability to pay, and Texas will never get close again if the legislature expands Medicaid.

“The good news is that the House has already developed a bipartisan package of health care bills that will lower costs, increase access to providers, improve Medicaid for current patients, and cover two to three times more Texans than Medicaid expansion. It also costs a small fraction of what expansion does. The bipartisan ‘Heathy Families, Healthy Texans’ approach is a much better way to deliver health care reform that improves health outcomes and doesn’t punish taxpayers for generations.”

The Details:

Medicaid Expansion 

  • Applies to 1-1.5 million people, costs $5 billion
  • Extends coverage to able-bodied adults crowding out access for the disabled
  • Increases the use of emergency rooms for non-emergency care
  • Fewer doctors accept Medicaid which decreases the quality of care
  • 662k uninsured Texans already have access but do not use it

Healthy Families, Healthy Texas 

  • Serves 4-6 million Texans, costs $200 million
  • Improves Medicaid for current enrollees
  • Lowers health care costs for all Texans and eliminates surprise billing
  • Lowers drug prices
  • Increases access to health care providers