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Estimate of Texas Medicaid Expansion Drops by Billions

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Estimates for the cost of expanded Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act have been dramatically reduced.

The cost of expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act – which Texas Gov. Rick Perry has long opposed – has been dramatically reduced.

Texas Health and Human Services Commissioner Tom Suehs told members of the Texas House Appropriations Committee the cost of expanded Medicaid services under the ACA would be $15 to $16 billion – some 40 percent less than an original estimate of $26 to $27 billion.

While a recent Supreme Court decision upheld the bulk of the Affordable Care Act, the court found states could not be denied existing Meidcaid funds if they opted-out of the Medicaid expansion the act allows for – instead, the states would be denied new Medicaid funds associated with the expansion.

Several conservative governors, including Perry, have since said their states would not join in the Medicaid expansion.

Suehs gave members of the House Appropriations Committee several reasons for the lower estimate, including expecting fewer people to sign up, program cost inflation remaining flat, and other government health care funding remaining constant over the 10 years.

Ben Philpott is the Managing Editor for KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @BenPhilpottKUT.
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