Texas coalition worries about tinkering with Medicaid

Hundreds protest proposed changes to Medicaid in front of the State Capitol on March 6, 2017 (KXAN Photo/Phil Prazan)
Hundreds protest proposed changes to Medicaid in front of the State Capitol on March 6, 2017 (KXAN Photo/Phil Prazan)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — As GOP leaders unveil and move their replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act through Congress, millions of Texans will be watching. Hundreds showed up Monday to protest changes to Medicaid by making it a “block grant,” giving state lawmakers money to implement health insurance for poor and disabled Texans without strings from Washington attached.

A coalition of several groups called “Cover Texas Now” rallied against several new ideas for healthcare. Kate Robinson from Austin fears changes to state-run insurance for poor and disabled Texans.

“I think everyone should care about it because healthcare effects us all,” said Robinson.

Her son was born with a disabled airway; speaking and eating didn’t come easy. Current Medicaid rules allowed her son to have healthcare coverage. If Washington goes with “block grants” — giving Texas the money without specific requirements — she worries her son would be left out.

“I honestly can’t even consider that because in my mind it would mean utter destruction for my whole family,” said Robinson.

“Republicans are just as compassionate as Democrats. We care and we want people to be covered,” said Michael Joyce from the Texas Republican Party. He says a block grant would allow lawmakers to match unique programs to uniquely Texan problems.

“It’s always a good thing when you don’t have to take cues from Washington, and we like to do things a certain way down in Texas,” said Joyce.

As many expect changes in the coming days, more than a million newly covered Texans — and four million Texans still without coverage — will be watching.

We reached out to Congressman Kevin Brady’s Ways and Means Committee to find out what day the process would begin. A committee staffer told us he was instructed to direct us to their website.  That website did not have an answer. We reached out to a higher position in the office, and are waiting to hear back.

KXAN.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s