3 Great Tools on Medicaid Expansion and Texas, and One More to Read

The Affordable Care Act’s opportunity to cover more uninsured Texans under Medicaid starting in 2014 is such a big deal that some county officials are wondering how Texas can move forward, despite the governor’s reluctance.  We are lucky to have available three new tools to help us understand why the new option is so valuable for our state—and just how valuable the state Medicaid agency and a top Texas economist predict it will be in the next several years.  In case you missed them when they first hit the internet—or just want to have all three in one handy place—here they are:

  1. Choices and Challenges: How Texas County Uninsured Rates Will Drop Under Health Care Reform 
    A recent model developed by Michael E. Cline, Ph.D., and Steve H. Murdock, Ph.D. of Rice University (former Texas State Demographer and Director of the US Bureau of the Census)  provides county-level projections to help local officials and residents plan for how increased coverage under the Affordable Care Act could affect their communities. This county-level model includes estimates of the much smaller reduction in uninsured rates expected if Texas does not accept the Medicaid Expansion. You can read the full report here.
  2. Your County and the ACA CPPP has compiled data for all 254 Texas counties to illustrate the expected impact of Affordable Care Act (ACA) implementation on uninsured numbers and rates by county. The sources are drawn from respected and reliable experts including the US Bureau of the Census, Texas demographers Michael Cline, Ph.D. and Steve Murdock, Ph.D., and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission’s latest official estimates of the state costs and federal dollar gains expected if Texas allows the parents of children eligible for Medicaid today and other poor adults to participate in Medicaid. Be sure to read the accompanying document Understanding the Sources as well.
  3. Texas Has Only One Rational Choice: Expanding Medicaid Under the Affordable Care Act – Study by The Perryman Group Finds that Expanding Medicaid More than Pays for Itself – According to an analysis by The Perryman Group, every $1 spent by the State of Texas to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) returns $1.29 in  dynamic State government revenue over the first 10 years of the expansion. Medicaid expenditures lead to substantial economic activity, federal funds inflow, reduction in costs for uncompensated care and insurance, and enhanced productivity from a healthier population. When these outcomes and the related multiplier effects are considered, the program actually far more than pays for itself and provides a notable economic stimulus. “Neither the Affordable Care Act nor the Medicaid program is perfect, and there are many opportunities to provide needed health services in a more efficient and cost effective manner,” said Dr. Ray Perryman, “but if we don’t expand Medicaid coverage as envisioned under the Affordable Care Act, Texas loses an opportunity to enhance access to health care for about 1.5 million Texans and foregoes almost $90 billion in federal health care funds over the first 10 years.” You can find the full report and the press release here.

Finally, in case you missed it, Dr. Howard Brody, director of the Institute for the Medical Humanities at the University of Texas Medical Branch, weighed in on Medicaid expansion this week with one more reason why it matters: the potential for saving thousands of Texans’ lives.Read his commentary here.
(This piece was originally posted on the Texas Well and Healthy Texas Treatment blog. The Texas Well and Healthy Campaign is a broad, grassroots coalition working to ensure that every Texan has access to comprehensive and affordable health insurance. Learn more at www.texaswellandhealthy.org/)

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