Study: By Not Expanding Medicaid, Lone Star State Has a Lot to Lose

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<p>Texas, home to the largest number of uninsured Americans, is one of nearly 20 states that have not expanded their Medicaid program as permitted under the Affordable Care Act. In a new Commonwealth Fund issue brief, Harvard University’s Benjamin D. Sommers, M.D., reports on survey research showing just how much low-income Texans are missing out by their state’s decision. </p><p>Compared with Medicaid-expanding Kentucky and Arkansas, where the uninsured rate for low-income adults dropped by more than half within 12 months, Texas saw a much smaller decline—from 39 percent to 27 percent, mostly a result of some residents’ eligibility for tax credits to buy coverage in the federal health insurance marketplace. Compared to low-income adults in the expansion states, Texans reported little improvement in their ability to pay for prescriptions, afford their medical bills, or obtain regular care for chronic conditions like diabetes and depression. </p>
<p>In Texas, most adults can only enroll in Medicaid if they have extremely low incomes. The author notes that generous federal funding remains available for the state to expand its program.</p> Read the brief