WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF TEXAS ELIMINATED MEDICAID?

Here’s a press release from State Representative Garnet Coleman: The  Health and Human Services Commission released the Impact on Texas if Medicaid is Eliminated report.  We now have an official report that confirms some our biggest fears.  2.6 million Texans could lose their health insurance. It would cost Texas more money to administer its own program which would result in fewer services.  If you want to save real dollars, you have to throw real people out on the street.  Medicaid is a good program for the state of Texas, and opting out to create some new program would be a fool’s errand. 
 
Governor Rick Perry’s real motive is to make other cuts to Medicaid seem more palatable. None of it is acceptable.  We absolutely cannot cut reimbursement rates to Medicaid providers to the point that they are so low, that the program will be ineffective.  Cutting optional programs would also devastate Texans served by Medicaid.  
 
Governor Perry’s proposals would hurt our elderly, disabled, and low income children.  I hope that the Governor stops considering these unrealistic options and starts working on actual solutions. 
 
According to the report:
 
If Texas opted out of the federal program, the full impact from the loss of federal Medicaid dollars would depend on legislative policy decisions:
 
·         Texas would lose $15 billion (SFY 2009) in federal matching funds for client services and hospitals.
·         At the same time, Texas residents and businesses would continue to pay federal taxes in support of other states’ Medicaid spending.
·         Up to 2.6 million Texans could become uninsured.
·         Hospitals still would be required by federal law to treat medical emergencies of uninsured former Medicaid and CHIP clients, potentially adding billions to uncompensated care costs each year.
·         The Legislature could preserve benefits for some current Medicaid and CHIP clients using the state share of funding while shielding the state budget from significant losses, but it will be difficult to accomplish these two goals without shifting costs to county governments and public hospitals.