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One-Size-Fits-All Medicaid Expansion Wrong and Too Costly for Texas.pdf

One-Size-Fits-All Medicaid Expansion Wrong and Too Costly for Texas.pdf

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Published by TexasCapitalTonight
Sen. Tommy Williams outlines his plan for Medicaid reform.
Sen. Tommy Williams outlines his plan for Medicaid reform.

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Published by: TexasCapitalTonight on Feb 28, 2013
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04/11/2014

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 T
OMMY
 
W
ILLIAMS
 
 Texas State SenatorDistrict 4
For Immediate Release Contact: Gary ScharrerFebruary 26, 2013 512-463-0104
EDITORIAL
A
 
F
ederal
G
overnment
F
orced "
O
ne-
S
ize-
F
its-
A
ll"
M
edicaid
E
xpansion
I
s
W
rong and
 T
oo
C
ostly for
 T
exas
 
By State Senator Tommy Williams (R-The Woodlands)Chairman of the State Senate Finance Committee
 
M
edicaid today is an inefficient, broken federal program needing to be fixedbefore any expansion occurs. Medicaid, as we know it, cannot continuewithout breaking our state budget or drowning the federal government inmore massive debt.On the surface, Medicaid expansion sounds worthy as it would providehealth care to an estimated 1.8 million additional Texans and $100 billion infederal funding over 10 years to Texas while the state puts up approximately$15 billion. But pouring all that money into an inefficient and brokensystem makes absolutely no sense.Medicaid expansion wrapped inside a one-size-fits-all federal package is notgood for Texas.
- MORE -
Committees:Finance, ChairState AffairsOpen GovernmentAdministration
 
 Page Two of FiveSen. Williams ~2.26.13
 Texas needs flexibility to administer a Texas solution unique to our state'sMedicaid population, versus the current system obligating us to offereverything - or nothing. Some Medicaid patients may need only two orthree services so forcing Texas to provide more services than a patientactually needs is simply inefficient, costly and fairly ridiculous.We need to provide health care to Texans without the means to helpthemselves. However, we must be more efficient in how we provide thatcare. Patients without health care options end up using expensiveemergency room services for what should be routine medical care. Taxpayers are paying for an inefficient system funded by property taxes tocover uncompensated health care in our local public hospitals - and withhigher insurance premiums to cover the cost of our uninsured population.A one-size approach doesn't allow Texas to develop ways to encouragehealthy habits, program efficiencies or allow Texas to target the program'sgrowing fraud and abuse in more meaningful and effective ways.In the past 10 years, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in the Texas AttorneyGeneral's office has identified more than $770 million in suspected Medicaidoverpayments. The office also has obtained more than 800 criminalconvictions. In (FY) 2012, the attorney general's office opened up 418Medicaid fraud and abuse cases, recouped $21.5 million and excluded 412providers.As a taxpayer, a businessman and an elected steward of our tax dollars, I amvery concerned about costs. Presently, Texas pays 40 percent of the
- MORE -
 
 Page Three of FiveSen. Williams ~2.26.13
Medicaid costs; the federal government pays 60 percent. In Texas, Medicaidcurrently costs nearly as much as education when you look at all fundingsources. That's never happened before. Since 2000, the state's Medicaidshare has nearly tripled, climbing to approximately $11 billion per year. Atthis rate we will be spending more than $30 billion per year in state moneyby 2024.Stated another way, it simply means the more we spend on Medicaid, theless money we will have for education, highways, mental health services,financial aid for college students and many other important functions.Spiraling Medicaid costs have severely impacted other states, and somestates eventually could face bankruptcy unless the trend line changes.Nearly 20 other states are resisting the Medicaid expansion offer, Texasbeing the largest. Our only leverage with the federal government is to resistexpansion until we can design our own more efficient and effective plan.Here are a few elements of what a
"Texas Solution to Medicaid"
might looklike.
 
Co-pays and deductibles for Medicaid recipients so individuals haveskin in the game when it comes to their health care;
 
Establish reimbursement rates designed to encourage quality patientoutcomes and efficient use of taxpayer resources;
 
Expanded Medicaid
"managed care"
programs to improve andstreamline services, reduce costs and provide quality and cost-effective healthcare to serve more Texans;
- MORE -

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