Return to the Latest

Tell Texas to Expand Medicaid to Millions

By Erin Hemlin

If you’ve ever met anyone from Texas, you already know that it’s the greatest state in the nation, and you’re not supposed to mess with it.

I’ve always been proud to be a native Texan; I spent my formative years in the sunny suburbs of Houston, cheering on the greatest second baseman of all time, and trying not to run my bike into the bayous. I spent my college years in booming Austin, where I swam in Barton Springs, and saw more live shows than some people do in a lifetime. It’s easy to see why Texas is the greatest state in the nation. We gave you Willie Nelson, Tex-Mex, and Beyoncé.

Yes, you’re welcome.

Texas is great, but Texas is also stubborn.

Despite having the highest uninsured rate in the country, Governor Rick Perry has refused to take steps to expand Medicaid to all low-income adults as originally intended under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

My family alone has, and will, greatly benefit from the provisions of the ACA. As a 25 year-old in graduate school, I was able to stay on my parent’s insurance for an extra year and save myself the cost of skimpy individual coverage.

My step-mom suffers from a pancreatic condition similar to pancreatitis, a pre-existing condition that drives up my parents’ premium, and could have seriously hindered her ability to get new coverage if she lost her insurance. The ACA will end that discrimination in just 7 months.

A critical part of the ACA, the Medicaid expansion, is still yet to come. And expanding Medicaid could mean great benefits for the rest of Texas too.

Members of the Austin community & health advocates listening to YI Health Care training.
Members of the Austin community & health advocates listening to YI Health Care training.

Here are some facts every Texan should know about Medicaid expansion:

  • It would allow up to 1,068,000 18-34 year olds in Texas to become eligible for Medicaid;
  • Nearly 2.5 million adults of all ages could be eligible;
  • The federal government will cover the costs of expansion through 2016;
  • After that date, the federal government will never pay less than 90% of the costs;
  • Not expanding in Texas could cost the state $90 billion in federal funding.

Expanding Medicaid is the right choice for Texas. If you agree, sign this petition by the Texas Well and Healthy Campaign to help show your support: