“The Texas Impact report released today is an attempt to pressure state legislators into supporting Medicaid expansion. They should resist this pressure.
“Currently, Medicaid provides the worst health care coverage in the developed world, and forcing large numbers of Texans into will not make them healthier, or better off. Numerous studies have shown that health outcomes are much lower among Medicaid patients compared to those on private insurance and those without health insurance at all.
“Underlying the numbers in the report is the assumption that forcing more low-income people into Medicaid will significantly reduce the amount Texas hospitals must spend on unreimbursed charity care for the uninsured.
“However, a significant portion of uncompensated care costs come from Medicaid enrollees themselves, who often seek care in hospital emergency rooms because they do not have adequate access to primary care. Texas Hospitals are underpaid by Medicaid, and charge private insurance more to make up for it. Expanding Medicaid will only exacerbate this problem while doing nothing to address the fundamental flaws in the program.
“Expanding the state’s Medicaid program without fundamental reform is financially reckless and morally unconscionable. Although it represents a short-term infusion of federal dollars that could mildly offset uncompensated care costs for Texas hospitals, expansion does nothing to address the structural failures of a program that provides abysmal health care and poor access to physicians.”