White House Pressures Texas to Expand Medicaid

White House Pressures Texas to Expand Medicaid

HOUSTON, Texas–On Wednesday the Obama Administration released a document in which it complained about the decision of Texas–and 23 other U.S. states–to not expand Medicaid under Obamacare. 

President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors released a report called “Missed Opportunities: The Consequences of State Decisions Not to Expand Medicaid.” It said, “One direct consequence of States’ decisions not to expand Medicaid is that millions of their  uninsured  citizens will not experience the  improved access to health  care,  greater financial  security, and better health outcomes that come with insurance coverage.” 

The report asserted that if the federal healthcare program were expanded, 171,800 Texans would be able to afford their medical bills. 

But many Texans disagree, and assert that the expansion of Medicaid–which, in their view, is an unfunded entitlement–would cost too much and leave the state’s residents with poor quality insurance. 

Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert echoed that sentiment and told Breitbart Texas, “Even if we could forget for a moment that President Obama’s overall healthcare plan is destroying this nation’s first rate healthcare, expanding Medicaid in the states is a disaster just waiting to happen. The federal government is using taxpayer dollars wanting to enlarge the size and scope of the Medicaid program then pulling back the money. This will leave states on the hook for paying for such a mass expansion.  Once again, the federal government is making promises that it cannot keep.”

Texas Governor Rick Perry’s press secretary, Lucy Nash, told Breitbart Texas, “Medicaid is a broken system that already consumes more than a quarter of our state budget. Accepting President Obama’s Medicare expansion would only increase the amount that Texas would have to pay for a system that the President himself has said is broken. It would be irresponsible to continue to pump billions more taxpayer dollars into aprogram that we know is fundamentally broken.”

Perry, along with the state legislature, chose not to expand Medicaid in order to foster an environment of limited government where businesses may flourish and create jobs.

“If anyone was in doubt, we in Texas have no intention to implement so-called state exchanges or to expand Medicaid under Obamacare,” Perry said in July 2012. “I will not be party to socializing healthcare and bankrupting my state in direct contradiction to our Constitution and our founding principles of limited government.”

Breitbart Texas previously reported on the media’s effort to  credit Obamacare for a national increase in Medicaid enrollment. 

But nine states, including Texas, have actually seen a decrease in Medicaid enrollment since Obamacare went into effect. Since October, Texas saw a (-0.4) percent increase in enrollment. Data from the Obama Administration claims that 4.25 million people are currently enrolled in the state, down from 4.44 million in September 2013. 

John Davidson, a senior health care policy analyst at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, told Breitbart Texas that Lone Star State residents have been clear in what they want. “The Texas legislature chose not to expand Medicaid,” he said. “There has been strong opposition to Medicaid expansion in Texas, and that’s undeniable.”

Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate

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