• Health-care expansion defeated in TX House

Health-care expansion defeated in TX House

A bid to expand health coverage for low-income Texans failed in the Texas House last week, 80-68.

State leaders have long opposed expanding the Medicaid program, which is largely funded by the federal government. The measure that failed last week would have allowed the Texas Health and Human Services Commission to negotiate a funding agreement with the feds, called a 1115 demonstration waiver, that would cover more uninsured Texans without technically expanding Medicaid, according to various media sources, including the Texas Tribune.

Just over a week ago, the Biden administration rescinded a federal 1115 waiver approved in the final days of the Trump administration, which would have provided the state billions of dollars over the next decade to cover emergency care for uninsured Texans. The state was exempted from the normal public notice process, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Gov. Greg Abbott blasted that decision, saying it “obstructed healthcare access for vulnerable Texans.”

Backers of health-care expansion are pinning their waning hopes on House Bill 3871, sponsored by Rep. Julie Johnson, D-Carrollton. Her bill also uses an 1115 waiver to attract federal funding to expand Medicaid eligibility as well as increased in Medicaid reimbursements to doctors, according to the Tribune. But time is running out with the bill still stuck in committee.




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