On Friday, the Biden administration rescinded an approved plan put together under the Trump administration that had extended Texas’ current Medicaid plan for an additional 10 years. It was originally set to expire in 2022, before the extension was granted on January 15 of this year.
The current waiver provided more than $11 billion in federal funding per year to the state. This funding was a way that Texas provided coverage for its uninsured patients in the wake of the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, and its reluctance to expand Medicaid.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott stated, “By rescinding this waiver extension, the Biden administration is obstructing healthcare access for vulnerable Texans and taking away crucial resources for rural hospitals in Texas.” He went on to say, “The State of Texas spent months negotiating this agreement with the federal government to ensure vital funds for hospitals, nursing homes, and mental health resources for Texans who are uninsured. With this action, the Biden administration is deliberately betraying Texans who depend on the resources made possible through this waiver.”
It is still unclear whether state legislators will act on the news by hearing any of the filed legislation relating to Medicaid expansion this session. The Texas House of Representatives is scheduled to take up the overall state budget next Thursday, April 22. Historically, amendments related to Medicaid expansion are filed when lawmakers discuss Article II, the healthcare portion, as part of their overall budget deliberations.
Notably, a bill filed by Democrat State Rep. Julie Johnson (Carrollton) has accrued a significant amount of support in co-authors over the last few weeks, making the public support for such efforts almost enough to pass it out of the House, if it were to ever get a vote. These authors include Republican lawmakers.