Sizing Up The Texas Budget: Medicaid and CHIP

Millions of Texans rely on Medicaid and CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program) for their health care coverage.
Unfortunately, the 2014-15 state budget fails to undo the deepest cuts made to these vital services in 2011 and is marked by both new and ongoing austerity measures. Our state’s inability to pay frontline health care workers a living wage, or keep Texas Medicaid provider payments on par with Medicare, parallels Texas’ struggle to adequately fund our other most basic needs.
Most senseless of all, state leaders missed an opportunity to draw down billions in federal Medicaid funds through the Affordable Care Act and provide health care to our poorest uninsured.
As a result, come January 2014, Texas adults living below poverty, like Melissa, a 41-year-old mom from Austin, will remain uninsured. Melissa is a self-employed artist and relies on CHIP for her son’s care, but neither she nor her husband are insured and they don’t qualify for Medicaid under current rules.
“Medicaid Expansion would give my family health insurance coverage we currently don’t have,” she says. “It would give me the security and peace-of-mind to know that the event of an illness or accident would not put an additional financial burden on my family.”
Read Anne’s analysis of what happened, and didn’t happen, with Medicaid and CHIP in the 2014-15 budget.

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