On Monday, advocates from across the state, including many from North Texas, rallied on the Capitol steps in support of Medicaid expansion.
On Tuesday, in the House Committee on Insurance, I presented State Representative Garnet Coleman’s HB 565, which would expand Medicaid coverage to working adults. It would also add key protections afforded under the Affordable Care Act to state law, including ensuring that Texans with preexisting conditions would remain eligible for healthcare coverage.
Yes, this is an issue that I’ve written about often. For good reason. Texas still has the highest rate and number of uninsured adults (and children) in the nation…and that rate is climbing. It is also an issue that is a priority for the people of House District 101.
Expanding Medicaid should be a no brainer. It would provide coverage for over 1 million Texans basically overnight and draw down billions of federal dollars in the process. Yet, even with an incredible need and funding in place, Texas still remains one of the only 14 states to put politics ahead of the people in its refusal to expand Medicaid.
In addition to Coleman’s measure, other members (all Democrats) have filed expansion bills. At least three of these measures would put Medicaid expansion on the ballot, to let voters — you, me and our neighbors — decide. This approach has been successful in Idaho, Maine, Nebraska and Utah.
Medicaid expansion isn’t the only pressing healthcare item on the agenda this legislative session. Other critical measures include:
I support each and every one. All of these measures are critical to the long-term health of our state. We’ll see if our state’s leadership agrees.