Texas missing out on Medicaid, study says

Texas is one of 20 states that still refuse to take advantage of billions in federal dollars for Medicaid expansion as part of the Affordable Care Act.

A study released yesterday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services offers further evidence that those states are doing their economies and their neediest residents a major disservice, according to HHS.

This time the focus is on missed opportunities for mental health and substance abuse treatment.

When signed into law by President Obama in 2010, Obamacare as it’s commonly known included a provision designed to cover Americans who weren’t eligible for Medicaid and couldn’t afford health insurance under ACA.

In 2012, the Supreme Court ruled that ACA was constitutional, but left it up to the states whether to expand Medicaid. Former Gov. Rick Perry said in 2012 that taking part in expansion would mean putting Texans at the mercy of a “broken system,” referring to Obamacare, whose provisions he argued represented “brazen intrusions into the sovereignty of our state.”

Gov. Greg Abbott’s stance is essentially the same. While a few states, including Arizona and now Louisiana, have reversed course and pursued expansion after all, Texas leaders’ anti-expansion attitude hasn’t changed.

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