FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 02/06/2013
REP. ERIC JOHNSON FILES BILLS TO EXPAND MEDICAID, BEGIN STATEWIDE HEALTH INSURANCE EXCHANGE
AUSTIN, TX – State Representative Eric Johnson (Dallas) filed legislation this morning to expand Medicaid eligibility for Texans and establish a statewide Health Insurance Exchange program under the parameters of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) passed by Congress in 2010.
Medicaid eligibility expansion would take advantage of a provision in the ACA allowing states to increase the number of people covered by Medicaid. The federal government would fund 100% of the cost of the expansion for the first three years, after which it would provide $9 for every $1 spent by the state. This option allows Texas to provide care for more people while decreasing the costs of paying for the uninsured.
"Millions of Texans remain uninsured. We must seize the opportunity that has fallen in our lap to remedy that problem," said Representative Johnson. "If we choose not to adopt Medicaid eligibility expansion, our federal tax dollars will effectively be spent on other states' health care programs. This is the right thing to do whether you're looking at it from a moral standpoint or a fiscal one."
The Health Insurance Exchange would enable Texans to find the health care plan best for their individual needs by providing an online marketplace with clear, detailed information on each plan.
House Bill 999 expands Medicaid eligibility for Texans in accordance with the Affordable Care Act. This will mean 1.5 million more Texans covered.
House Bill 1001 allows Dallas County to apply for a waiver to expand Medicaid eligibility on its own. In the event that the state government refuses to accept the money from the federal government, Dallas County should not be punished.
House Bill 1002 establishes a statewide health insurance exchange, as provided for by the Affordable Care Act. This will allow customers a fair look at what plans are available to them.
Eric Johnson represents District 100, which includes parts of Dallas and Mesquite, in the Texas House of Representatives.
Contact: Richard Griffin