Lawmakers mull alternatives to Medicaid expansion

Doctor and patient

AUSTIN (AP) — A legislative committee is examining market-based alternatives to providing low-income Texans with health care since the state has rejected the expansion of Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act. Members of the state Senate Health and Human Services committee plan Thursday to discuss alternatives to the law critics call “Obamacare.” Some ideas include expanding Medicaid block grants and waivers. Lawmakers are seeking to hold health costs in-check while improving access to care.

Texas has the nation’s highest rate of uninsured residents. A recent White House report found that Medicaid expansion would have covered an additional 1.2 million Texans by 2016. But Gov. Rick Perry and the GOP-controlled Legislature have refused expansion. They reject the federal health overhaul as Washington attempting to impose a harmful, “one-size-fits-all” policy on states.

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