On Tuesday this week, thousands of Texans came from all across the state to tell their legislators that Texas’ Medicaid program matters. The event was picked up by many local and national news sources including the Austin American-Statesman and the Texas Tribune.
Medicaid is the joint federal-state health program for low-income individuals and families. During the 83rd Texas Legislative Session, Texas has the opportunity to expand Medicaid to cover about 1.5 million more low-income Texans – drastically reforming the program from one that is only able to treat people with the most severe mental illnesses to a program that is better able to provide early identification of mental health conditions and prevention-based treatment.
A few state legislators have provided a number of avenues to Medicaid expansion, including a joint resolution that would put the issue to a statewide vote. Other senators and representatives are holding out for a guarantee of greater flexibility from the federal government.
More information on where other states stand on Medicaid expansion is available here.