Sen. Ellis offers amendment to expand Medicaid

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(Austin, TX) // Today, Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) offered a floor amendment to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, but the amendment was voted down on party lines.

“Everyone has the right to affordable health care,” said Senator Ellis. “The contents of one’s wallet should not determine the quality of one’s care. When Texas leads the nation in the percent of our population that’s uninsured, it’s very disappointing that my colleagues have once again passed on an opportunity to provide a million Texans access to affordable health care.”

“Expanding Medicaid simply secures aid for what local taxpayers pay for already: the costs of uninsured Texans who show up in our doctor’s offices and emergency rooms. Accepting the $100 billion in federal funding to address the gap of affordable healthcare options to our constituents is just common sense. It will reduce local property taxes, create jobs, and provide affordable and quality health care to a million Texans.”

According to an economic analysis by the Perryman Group, Texas would see a return of $1.29 for every $1 spent on Medicaid expansion, and the burden on local governments would be reduced by $1.21 for every dollar the state spent on expanding the program. Perryman further estimates that Medicaid expansion would generate over 300,000 Texas jobs per year on average over 10 years, even netting out the impact diverting the state’s required matching contribution.

Billy Hamilton Consulting projects economic activity from Medicaid expansion would generate an estimated 231,000 jobs by 2016, and several times that number in later years.

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