Texas is a huge state. It's also leaving a huge amount of federal money on the table—and not insuring more than 1 million people—because of its opposition to Obamacare.
The decision by Texas to reject expansion of Medicaid, the government health-coverage program for the poor, will prevent the state from receiving an estimated $100 billion in federal cash over a decade, at the same time its hospitals are eating $5.5 billion in annual costs for treating uninsured people, a new National Public Radio report details. (Tweet This)
Those uncompensated costs in turn are being covered by taxes and insurance premiums paid by the state's businesses and residents, who are also footing the bill for expanding Medicaid in 29 states and the District of Columbia that agreed to accept federal funds to offer coverage to nearly all poor adults. The Medicaid expansion states, as a rule, have seen a marked decline in their uninsured rates and the amount of costs their hospitals incur in caring for people without insurance.
But Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas still has $765 million in uncompensated care costs annually from treating the uninsured, NPR noted. In Dallas County, more than half of property owners' tax bills "goes to reimburse Parkland Hospital" for those uncompensated costs, the report said.
"A huge chunk" of Parkland's uncompensated care costs "could be paid for by about $580 million a year that would be brought in by the Medicaid expansion monies," said Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, who oversees the hospital.