Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Texas Government Hates Government

The Texas Government is proposing a new solution to the state's $25 million dollar deficit: dropping out of the federal Medicaid program. The New York Times reports,

"Far-right conservatives are offering [dropping out of the program] in impassioned news conferences. Moderate Republicans are studying it behind closed doors. And the party’s advisers on health care policy say it is being discussed more seriously than ever, though they admit it may be as much a huge in-your-face to Washington as anything else."

In your face Obama! In your face poor people! High fives all around!

"The Heritage Foundation, a conservative research organization, estimates Texas could save $60 billion from 2013 to 2019 by opting out of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program, dropping coverage for acute care but continuing to finance long-term care services. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission, which has 3.6 million children, people with disabilities and impoverished Texans enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP, will release its own study on the effect of ending the state’s participation in the federal match program at some point between now and January."

Guess who's poor and gets her health insurance through the Texas Health and Human Services Commission? As opposed to the Heritage Foundation, whose mission statement is "WON'T

"Currently, the Texas program costs $40 billion for a period of two years, with the federal government paying 60 percent of the bill. As a result of federal health care changes, Ms. Nelson said, millions of additional Texans will be eligible for Medicaid."

Including my boyfriend, my friends, and many other people living in Texas who are barely ineligible for Healthcare yet still poor enough to get food stamps and other social services. But I'm sure the thriving economy here will take care of them; they will all pull themselves up by their bootstraps, open their own businesses, dive into piles of money, and live the American Dream by shelling out cash for private insurance. Yay, problem solved! Oh wait. From the Dallas Morning News:

"The government announced [September 16, 2010] that nearly 4.3 million Texans lived in poverty last year, a whopping 11 percent increase. The Census Bureau study released said that Texas' poverty rate last year was 17.3 percent, once again the nation's sixth-highest. The rate among Texas children also has increased since 2008. Poverty now affects almost 1.8 million Texans younger than 18. That's just more than one of every four."

The idea that the Texan government could use Medicaid as a bargaining chip or a ploy to make Obama look bad is despicable. People in Texas desperately need this Medicaid, and perhaps the government should stop giving the government the middle finger and realize that they might actually be shooting themselves in the foot.

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