One of the reasons we started “A New Healthy Texas” was to help separate healthcare policy truth from myth. Two of the most pernicious and false myths in Texas today are that Medicaid is irredeemably broken and that it is a terrible burden on everyone involved.
Medicaid in Texas is not perfect, and in fact we’ve recommended improvements here and in testimony submitted to the legislature. The truth, though, is this: Medicaid is a blessing that saves lives and is saving money.
When you hear someone complaining about Medicaid taking a larger share of the state budget, what you probably aren’t hearing is the truth behind the increase: we have more poor children in poor and middle class working families. Medicaid managed care programs in Texas have kept the cost per person at virtually the same rate for years — the increase is due to more children qualifying for Medicaid, often because their working parents do not earn a living wage.
The Houston Chronicle recently ran my column about Medicaid as a blessing, not a burden. Please take a moment to read it, and reflect on what it means to you.