What Has Your County Lost Because Rick Perry Won't Expand Medicaid?

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We all know that Rick Perry's refusal to expand Medicaid is leaving over 1 million Texans in a coverage gap and $6 billion of dollars on the table each year. But want to know just how much worse off he's making your county?

An interactive tool from the Center for Public Policy Priorities shows the benefits that a Medicaid expansion would bring to each county. According to their analysis, expanding coverage in Texas would would create over 300,000 jobs, reduce business tax penalties by at least $266 million, increase local tax revenues by $525 million and increase annual retail sales by $7.2 billion.

Meanwhile, this week at the Texas GOP Convention, Rick Perry told the crowd, “Some states took the bait of Obamacare and they expanded Medicaid. We did not. And we will not subscribe to federal blackmail.” Because according to Rick Perry, a 9-to-1 federal match to insure 1 million people is blackmail.

Read about the benefits Texas stands to gain by accepting “federal blackmail” after the jump.Every major city in Texas stands to insure tens of thousands of people, and in some cases even hundreds of thousands of people. There would be over 202,000 newly insured in Harris County, 125,000 in Dallas County, 72,000 in Tarrant County, 70,000 in Bexar and Hidalgo Counties, 49,000 in El Paso County and 40,000 in Travis County, to name a few.

The tool also shows economic benefits by county, which are quite significant. In Travis County, for instance:

  • 80,445 uninsured people would gain coverage,
  • 15,441 jobs would be created,
  • The county could reduce costs by $270 million, which is currently being used for local taxpayer-funded health care for the uninsured,
  • The county would receive over $200 million in new federal health care money,
  • Tax revenues would increase by $24 million, and
  • Retail sales would increase by roughly $380 million.

But none of these benefits will be realized because Rick Perry continues to refuse to expand Medicaid.

Meanwhile, according to the accompanying report, support for a Medicaid expansion is high:

“Statewide support for a Texas Medicaid expansion is strong. Every major Texas city and the Rio Grande Valley has expressed support through its business groups, elected officials, and health care providers. Texas and national polling firms report 58-59 percent of Texas voters support accepting federal ACA funds to cover the poorest uninsured adults. Two dozen chambers of commerce in Texas have called on the state to accept the funding. “

It's time to expand Medicaid. It has always been time.  

About Author

Emily Cadik

Emily is a Texas ex-pat and proud Longhorn living in Washington, DC, where she remains connected to the Lone Star State through her work on BOR and her enthusiasm for breakfast tacos. She works on affordable housing policy, and writes about health care, poverty and other social justice issues.

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