Texas: Medicaid adds 80K woodworkers, craps all over 700K children
Like many other Republican-run states, Texas not only refused to set up their own ACA exchange or expand Medicaid, the state government actively sought out to prevent people from enrolling, actually enacting absurdly strict "regulations" to prevent ACA Navigators from doing their job to help people learn about their rights and how to go through the process:
The navigators must register with the state, undergo a background check and fingerprinting, and complete 20 hours of additional training — beyond the 20 to 30 hours of federal training they've already received.
...all of which means that, while I'm certainly glad to hear that over 80,000 Texans are now newly enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP in spite of the state not expanding the program, it's pretty small comfort given that there were almost eleven times as many eligible even without expansion in place who still have no health coverage to speak of because the state of Texas did such a "great" job of keeping them from getting covered...including over 700K children.
More than 80,000 additional Texans have enrolled in Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program since the rollout of the Affordable Care Act last fall despite Republican state leaders’ decision not to expand eligibility to poor adults, according to federal figures.
The 80,435 new enrollees as of May — mostly Texans who already qualified for coverage but did not previously seek it — represent a 1.8 percent increase over pre-Obamacare figures.
...This "woodwork effect" or "welcome mat effect" — in which people hear about Medicaid expansions around the country and learn they qualify in Texas — has not been huge. Roughly 874,000 Texans eligible for Medicaid or CHIP have still not enrolled, according to Kaiser Family Foundation estimates. That includes more than 700,000 children, said Christine Sinatra, state communications director for Enroll America, a group seeking to get the uninsured covered under the federal health law.
Now, I do realize that I can't blame the Texas state government for all of these people not enrolling; the families do have to take some of the responsibility for not seeking the information out themselves, and there are probably a handful who find some sort of "nobility" in not "taking handouts" or whatever. However, the state sure as hell did everything possible to block them from doing so...and that's not even taking into account the additional million people left high and dry by TX's failure to expand Medicaid in the first place.
I'm sure the state is just proud of itself for crapping all over these kids as they are about screaming at all those refugee children at the border. Ironically, while some Republican Congressmen are claiming that the migrant children are unvaccinated, there are hundreds of thousands of Texas' own children who might end up never receiving a vaccination.
So, bravo, Texas; well played. You're managing to screw over foreign and native children by the truckload.