State Didn’t Expand Medicaid But Many Are Still Accessing It

More than 140,000 Texan adults received Medicaid in May through the state program known as TANF, a 21 percent increase since November.

The Texas Tribune reports that the jump occurred without the state expanding Medicaid as part of the president’s healthcare reform law. The program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, is paid for with a federal block grant and funnels money to unemployed and under-employed residents. It also provides Medicaid, should the applicant qualify.

For every $40 the state spends on Medicaid, the federal government provides $60. If Texas would’ve chosen to expand it, the feds would have paid for 100 percent over three years and 90 percent after.

Some estimates indicate that Texas, where 24 percent of its residents are uninsured, would’ve signed up another 2,013,025 people for Medicaid had Texas lawmakers voted to expand it.

Posted in News, Public Health.
  • Steve Love

    Thank you for this encouraging trend for TANF, but as you pointed out another approximately 2 million Texans would have benefited under coverage expansion. We need to develop, enact and implement a Texas Solution to provide the medical services of these Texans. Many of these people are working Texans that are hovering at or near the federal poverty level and are struggling to provide for themselves and their families. By not expanding the coverage under the Affordable Care Act, over 1 million Texans have fallen into a coverage gap and do not qualify for any coverage currently.

    We must address and resolve this health care coverage inequity immediately and working collaboratively with all stakeholders is a top priority.

    Thanks again for your article.

    Steve Love
    Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council

  • The access to health services in Texas under the Medicaid expansion proposal is an illusion and one of the largest unrecognized deceptions under health care reform. Currently less than 19% of primary care physicians in Dallas County accept traditional Medicaid, and a much smaller number Medicaid Managed Care which is what Medicaid expansion represents. Ask what hospital systems currently accept Medicaid Managed Care for their elective outpatient hospital services and employed physician groups? Outside of Parkland, very few, the silence is deafening.

    Let’s not be confused, the goal here is access, not merely coverage or a piece of paper. Access to a waiting list is not access to health care. Why expand a system where no one currently has meaningful access to care? It is like throwing another 1000 people on the Titanic.

    Let’s transform the current Medicaid system we have now into one that has Meaningful Access to health care, especially on the outpatient side,……and then we can start the discussion about expansion.

    Dr Rick Snyder
    Past President Dallas a County Medical Society