Special to The Dallas Examiner
WASHINGTON – U.S. Congressman Marc Veasey, TX-33, a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, introduced the Incentivizing Medicaid Expansion Act to extend Medicaid coverage availability in the 14 states that have yet to accept Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Currently millions of individuals in those states are left without any healthcare coverage.
This expansion would allow low-income families and nonelderly adults, without children, to become eligible to enroll in Medicaid with access to affordable health insurance. Right now, this population is without the option to enroll in Medicaid and often do not qualify for tax credits under the ACA marketplace. Additionally, over 90 percent of rural hospital closures have been in states that did not expand Medicaid.
“The bill will create an incentive for all eligible states to provide affordable health care coverage for all of their citizens,” said Congressman Veasey. “In Texas, approximately 638,000 people would gain coverage if Medicaid were expanded. “This is a no-brainer for the state of Texas and for the 14 states across the country who haven’t adopted this program.”
“Thousands of Texans are lacking health care coverage and peace of mind, which is why Texas must expand Medicaid,” said Congressman Colin Allred, TX-32. “Our state should not be leaving billions in federal health care dollars on the table while we have one of the highest uninsured rates in the country. We must use every tool at our disposal to lower prices and make sure everyone has access to the care they need. I thank Congressman Veasey for his leadership with this legislation, which when the time comes, would ensure Texas receives the same share of federal funds as other states toward Medicaid expansion.”
“The writing is on the wall and the facts are clear: Premiums and health care costs are higher in states that have not expanded Medicaid,” said Congresswoman Sewell, AL-07. “In my state of Alabama, approximately 314,000 more Alabamians would be covered under Medicaid expansion. Not doing so is a poor decision. And while I can’t force Alabama’s governor to expand Medicaid, I can continue to promote legislation that provides more incentives for her to do so. Today’s legislation is a step in the right direction, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to get it passed.”
States that have not yet accepted the expansion are slated to miss out on $305 billion between 2013 and 2022. This bill would allow states to receive 100 percent Federal Medical Assistance Percentages for the first three years a newly eligible individual is enrolled in the Medicaid program, 95 percent for the fourth year, 94 percent for the fifth year, 93 percent for the sixth year, and 90 percent each year thereafter.
The 14 states eligible for Medicaid expansion include: Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, South Carolina, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.