Friday, July 13, 2012

Texas Medicaid expansion numbers mind-boggling

Emphasis is mine.

On the heels of Gov. Rick Perry's declaration that Texas will not expand Medicaid because it is too costly, his health and human services commissioner said Thursday that fully implementing health care reform would cost the state about $11 billion less over 10 years than previously estimated.

Executive Commissioner Thomas Suehs told a Texas House subcommittee that the new estimate is between $15 billion and $16 billion in state costs over a decade, compared to the previous estimate of $26 billion to $27 billion.

The state would get an additional $100.1 billion in federal money over that time, according to the Texas Health and Human Services Commission -- money that Suehs acknowledged would be attractive to local entities grappling with the cost of caring for the quarter of the state's population that currently is uninsured.

 "If I was a county hospital district, I would be knocking on your door saying we need to re-debate" Medicaid expansion, perhaps with a push for a local option, Suehs said. That idea, in which a local agency would deal directly with the federal government to expand Medicaid in its area, has been cited by Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff. 

This is of course why Rick Perry WILL accept expansion of Medicaid, no matter what he says today. He and the Lege need that money to balance the next biennium's budget... and other future budgets.

They can whine all they want about "getting it crammed down their throats", but this is a good deal for the state and a better one for Texans, and even this worthless batch of Republicans isn't stupid enough to turn it down.

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