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Governor’s Medicaid decision may impact Texas patients

Governor Perry’s decision to reject the option expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act has been controversial in Texas and around the country. He is one of several governors who have stated that they will not participate in that aspect of the newly upheld law, which also means that Texas and the other states will not receive billions of dollars in federal health care funding.

The expansion of Medicaid is one of the elements of the new law that helps make healthcare more affordable, so many experts are concerned about the impact this decision will have on the state’s taxpayers. There is a lot of uncertainty for Texas residents who rely on Medicaid, leading to a need for more information and perhaps planning resources to determine next steps if their coverage changes.

The burden of paying for healthcare for uninsured Texans falls to the other residents of the county where they are treated. Property taxes are one major source of funding, along with other income for safety-net hospitals. Safety-net hospitals are funded by taxes as well. Last year in Harris County taxpayers supplied $504 million to safety net hospitals.

Analysts from a variety of backgrounds have looked at the question of what will happen to state subsidized healthcare as a result of Governor Perry’s rejection of the expansion of Medicaid. At this time, Perry has not addressed how Texans will fill the gap left by the lack of federal funding, but rather has focused on his stance that federal policies will not be a good fit for Texas.

More information about Texas Medicaid planning is available on our law firm’s website.

Source: New York Times, “Texas Counties Fear Residents Will Pay the Price of Perry’s Medicaid Rebuff,” Manny Fernandez, July 17, 2012.