Wait… How Much Is Texas Losing By NOT Expanding Healthcare?

This is something that I’ve written on previously, but now some professionals have given more comprehensive numbers to prove what we know to be true. Texas is losing out big time by not taking any form of the ACA Medicaid expansion.  Here’s more on this shocker from the Dallas Morning News

We’ve heard the arguments before. Advocates of expanding Medicaid, with the federal government picking up at least 90 percent of the tab, say it’s the humanitarian thing to do — and makes good sense, as the new billions of federal Medicaid matching money will generate new jobs. Opponents such as Gov. Rick Perry and state GOP leaders say there’s no guarantee the feds can make good on their promise down the road, given Washington’s big budget deficits. They also cite fears that once an entitlement’s offered, it’ll be hard to yank back. That could imperil state finances, warn the critics, who also fret about fostering more government dependency.

What’s new is someone has put a price tag on what taxpayers in the 23 holdout states, such as Texas, will pay to expand Medicaid in 27 other states and the District of Columbia.

The bottom line: Between 2013 and 2022, federal taxpayers in Texas will cough up $36.2 billion for the expansion’s cost elsewhere.That’s in addition to forgoing $65.6 billion of new federal Medicaid matching money, which would’ve generated $34.3 billion in additional Medicaid reimbursements for Texas hospitals, according to Urban Institute researchers.

So basically… by not expanding Medicaid or creating an alternative option, the state of Texas will lose over $136 billion dollars.

That’s worth repeating in a bigger font.

By not expanding Medicaid or creating an alternative option, the state of Texas will lose over $136 billion dollars.  

Sorry for yelling, but this blog can’t even describe how simply surreal the Texas TEApublican attitude is about Obamacare.  But even beyond the loss of money, Texans will suffer a greater loss by not improving our healthcare system… the loss of lives.  By refusing expansion, TEApublicans will voluntarily cripple hospitals all across the state once the ACA funding cuts kick in. Many hospitals may be forced to close down entirely.  That’s fewer hospitals to serve a rapidly growing state… growth which is propelled predominantly by low wage, no benefits employment.  Under these circumstances, Not expanding Medicaid means more Texans are going to die.

Despite all of these mounting factors, Greg Abbott, Dan Patrick and a bevy of other TEApublicans have vowed to never, ever, ever take the ACA expansion.  It’s an ill-fated stance, but they have stuck with it anyway throughout this election season.  Eventually, Texans must take them at their word that they do not have the state’s best interests at heart here.

Meanwhile if Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte are elected, they have every intention of finding a way to expand healthcare in the state of Texas.   They will not leave our state’s hard-earned tax dollars to be given away to people in other states.  Now that we finally have a monster price tag with this issue, let’s hope that it gains more traction during the remaining parts of election season.

Here’s the main point… This is 2014, and Obamacare is real. No longer do we have to banter about some “boogeyman bill” that’s going to kidnap your  doctor like a thief in the night. Texas doesn’t have to wonder what would happen if we expand Medicaid… We can see for ourselves by just crossing the state line. People in Arkansas are living the reality of healthcare expansion right now, and the system, while not perfect, is working pretty darn good. So it’s time for the TEApublicans to make a choice. Either put Texas first now, or get out of the way. This November, I’m hoping for the latter.

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