The benefits of expanding Medicaid in Texas are many. But that expansion will have the most impact at the local level. Texas Impact, via their report “Smart, Affordable and Fair: Why Texas Should Extend Medicaid Coverage to Low-Income Adults”, makes this clear.
Here’s what they have to say when they break down the local impact.
Texas has an extraordinary opportunity to expand health care coverage that would benefit up to 2 million of its citizens. The federal government would pay about $100 billion toward this expansion over 10 years, with the state responsible for only about $15 billion under a moderate enrollment scenario.
Extending Medicaid to low-income adults certainly would benefit the newly eligible. It also would benefit the wider economy and reduce demands on local indigent health programs and hospital charity care.
The amount of state match necessary to extend Medicaid to low-income adults would equal a small fraction of current local government and hospital spending on low-income health care. What’s more, covering low-income adults will result in new local revenue because it will generate good-paying jobs and commerce. So local governments will SAVE on health costs at the same time they are GAINING new sales and property taxes without raising tax rates.
At the same time, more people in every area of Texas would have health insurance, doctors and other health workers would be more fairly compensated for treating low-income folks, and the state could stop spending so much on piecemeal programs that only treat some health problems. People with health insurance will live longer and be healthier–and the many low-income adults in Texas who are parents will be able to take better care of their kids, too.
It’s not hard to see from that how insuring so many who are currently uninsured will have an extremely positive impact at the local level. A healthier population, less emergency room visits, and less expenditure on the uninsured. Just another reason why this makes sense and will lower costs that are paid by local property tax payers.
Also Progress Texas is keeping track of local governments that are coming out in favor of Medicaid expansion, many large county governments are on board.
It would likely be a great help to Williamson County, but I doubt our elected officials could see past ideology and do what’s best for the county. I would be very happy if they proved me wrong.
[UPDATE]: Some video from Jason Stanford, Not even Rick Perry is this stupid: