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Implications of State Decision
Texas is one of the states that have adamantly opposed the Obama Care program that proposes the expansion of the Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act. This implies that there are millions of citizens in the state that will not be covered by the Medicaid program in the state. The lack of expansion will see the state losing over $100 billion in the next decade from the federal cash. Additionally, hospitals in the state will continue spending more than $5 billion in treating uninsured members of the community. It is also apparent that the big health care bills will be footed by taxpayers in Texas.
It is also clear that the citizens of the state will also be involved in financing the expansion programs adopted by other states on a federal level without reaching the benefits of their contributions (Zwelling & Kantarjian, 2014). More than 1 million Americans in the low-income bracket live in Texas, and they will continue living without insurance cover for health care services because the administration of the state is not willing to negotiate the expansion of the Medicaid program. While the expansion program aims at covering all adults from 19 to 65 years old within the poverty level, citizens in Texas will not obtain the cover; hence, the cost of health care will escalate over the future.
A state that opts to adopt the expansion of the Medicaid program will see a reduction in the cost of health care for the newly eligible adults in their jurisdictions. The Federal government is set to bare at least 90% of the cost of health care for the newly elected members, and this will enhance the accessibility of preventive and treatment health care for the poor citizens. The respective states will also make hefty savings from the elimination of the current spending on uninsured citizens (Price & Eibner, 2013).
The program will eliminate the uncompensated spending for the associated states, and this will alleviate the costs of covering the new eligible citizens on the part of the states. One of the main challenges that the states might face is the allocation of funds to expand coverage to the people who are already eligible for care. It is also expected that the states will have to increase their health care budgets to meet the 10% or less cost of covering the new eligible citizens for coverage (Angeles, 2012).
Arkansas and Iowa are two of the states that have pledged to opt-out of the Medicaid expansion program, and they have proposed the development of alternative approaches. Arkansas has proposed the development of the Arkansas Health Care Independence Program, which covers the newly eligible citizens through private plans in the federal health care facilities. Just like the Medicaid expansion program, it will increase eligibility for adults in the 19-64 years old bracket, but the funding approach will involve the private sector.
The beneficiaries will receive all the benefits associated with the Medicaid program, but they will not have access to a private health care plan. The program also dictates that the cost-sharing option for families will not exceed 5% of their income, which means that the cost of health care will be relatively cheaper for the citizens (Garber & Collins, 2014).
Iowa has also chosen to opt-out of the Medicaid expansion program to develop an alternative plan to cover residents with income levels from 100% to 138 % of poverty. The members of the society in this state will have access to the full Medicaid benefits, as well as additional benefits that have been included in the wraparound service program. However, eligible citizens will have to part with a maximum of 10% of their income every month to cost-share in the expansion program. This program has developed an approach to separating different health care services to provide different copayment platforms. For instance, the use of emergency facilities in nonemergency situations will attract an 8% copayment on the part of the citizens (Garber & Collins, 2014).
Texas should look into adopting the Medicaid expansion program because the benefits outweigh the costs. The failure to take part in the program does not exempt the state from funding the process on a Federal level. The cost of uncompensated health care services in the public sector will continue to escalate as more Texans fall under the poverty level. The access to health care for the citizens will be relatively limited by the increase in costs as the authorities in Texas continue denying a great percentage of the population the eligibility to coverage under the immediate Medicaid program (Zwelling & Kantarjian, 2014).
A critical look at the failure to adopt the program reveals that Texas will not only incur hefty losses in state revenue, but it will also miss out on Billions of dollars from the Federal government that has been set aside to cater to the expansion program. The Federal government is willing to meet at least 90% of the cost of the expansion of the Medicaid program; hence, Texas would not have to spend too much on the program, which will benefit the citizens extensively.
Angeles, J. (2012). How Health Reform’s Medicaid Expansion Will Impact State Budgets. Web.
Garber, T. & Collins, S. R. (2014). The Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid Expansion: Alternative State Approaches. Web.
Price, C. C., & Eibner, C. (2013). For states that opt out of Medicaid expansion: 3.6 million fewer insured and $8.4 billion less in federal payments. Health Affairs, 32(6), 1030-1036. Web.
Zwelling, L., & Kantarjian, H. M. (2014). Obamacare: why should we care?. Journal of Oncology Practice, 10(1), 12-14. Web.