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2013-03-07 digital edition

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2013-03-07 / General Stories

House Republican Caucus Opposes Medicaid Expansion

Rep. Tim Kleinschmidt is the Policy Chairman of the House Republican Caucus and they met this past Monday to discuss the Medicaid System. At this meeting the decision was made by the Republican Caucus of the Texas House of Representatives to oppose expansion of the Medicaid system under the Affordable Care Act in its current form. Caucus members expressed their support for Texas-based solutions that allow for innovations, such as managed care, within the existing Medicaid program, and a focus on job creation, which is the most meaningful path to affordable health care.

Kleinschmidt said, “Republicans in the Texas House of Representatives overwhelmingly rejected the unsustainable expansion of our current Medicaid program. We have chosen sound fiscal policy over the federal government’s empty promises to Texas taxpayers.”

According to the Health and Human Services Commission, the Texas Medicaid program consumes more than a quarter of the state budget. Expanding Medicaid would add 1.1 million people to the existing caseload in Texas, costing the state an estimated $8.8 billion over the next decade.

Kleinschmidt went on to say, “Expansion isn’t a solution. It’s a problem looking for a banker. In tempting states with ‘free money’, the federal government is making a promise it cannot afford. With the national debate surrounding sequestration, spending, and debt, it is highly unlikely the federal government will be able to deliver on the matching funds that it is promising over the long term and perhaps not even over the short term.”

“Texas must continue to set itself apart from the rest of the nation, charting a path of limited government, individual freedom, and personal responsibility. The House Republican Caucus rejected this ill-conceived federal mandate and instead we call for flexibility in providing marketdriven, managed care solutions,” he concluded.

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