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Texas Hospitals Hope Perry Follows New Jersey on Medicaid Expansion

Daniel Reese, KUT News

New Jersey’s Chris Christie is the latest Republican Governor to change his mind and accept the federal Medicaid expansion in his state. The move is emboldening groups in Texas who would like to see Governor Perry also accept the provision of the Affordable Care Act.

John Hawkins is a policy analyst with the Texas Hospital Association. He says hospitals in the state provide $5 billion annually in uncompensated care.

“That’s getting shifted on to either local taxpayers or the private market through higher insurance premiums, so really this is a chance to take advantage of 100 percent federal funding, at least in the first three years, to help liquidate some of that cost," Hawkins said. 

But Governor Perry says he would only accept the money as a block grant with no strings attached. 

"We would take 80 percent less of the money if they’d give us 100 percent flexibility," Perry said today, according to the Houston Chronicle. "We could cover more people and do it cheaper, but the federal government refuses to allow states the flexibility."

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.
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