New Developments on Closing the Coverage Gap

A lot happened under the radar last week in the debate about Texas developing an alternative to Medicaid expansion. Let’s take a look:


– The Texas Association of Business released its new legislative priorities, including: “Medicaid expansion. Support a private insurance model that includes copays and a sliding scale in order to reduce the number of uninsured Texans.”


– A health care committee appointed by Governor Perry recommended that Texas negotiate a plan with the feds to accept our share of the new Medicaid funding to make sure uninsured workers have an insurance option.


– The Texas Hospital Association rolled out its proposed Texas Way, a private market-based alternative to Medicaid expansion.


– The Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Houston Chronicle both called on state leaders to consider options for accepting new federal Medicaid funding.


– On Veterans Day, a Texas vet called for state leaders to accept federal health funds to close the coverage gap for veterans and other Texans.


– New reports from Georgetown found that nearly 1 million Texas kids are uninsured and over two million Hispanic children nationwide are uninsured. By accepting closing the coverage gap for uninsured parents, Texas can connect more eligible but uninsured kids with CHIP and Children’s Medicaid.


– With open enrollment for starting again, more Texans with incomes below the poverty line ($24,000 for a family of four) are discovering that they do not qualify for financial assistance in the federal Marketplace and that the solution intended for them — state use of new Medicaid funding for low-wage workers — has not been implemented by Texas leaders.


With the elections behind us, and anti-Obamacare red states such as Arkansas, Wyoming, Utah and others either implementing or developing their own alternatives to Medicaid expansion, it’s time for Texas leaders to get to work too.