Congress Has a Historic Opportunity to Expand 医疗补助计划 in Texas

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) boards an elevator at the Capitol in Washington, Sept. 21, 2021. (Stefani Reynolds/The New York Times)

本专栏最初是 特色 刊登在休斯顿纪事报上. 

尽管 数十亿 of federal dollars on the table, strong statewide 公众的支持 and the ravages of COVID-19, Texas legislators have refused to expand 医疗补助计划, the federal-state health insurance program that covers Americans with limited incomes.

他们不是一个人. Texas is one of 12 states that have 说不 医疗补助扩大. By opting out, these states have left approximately 2.200万人 ——主要是 人的颜色 — without any pathway to basic, life-saving health care coverage. They don’t qualify for traditional 医疗补助计划 programs, which cover only a small number of parents and exclude those without dependent kids entirely (Texas’ rules are 最严格的), but also earn too little to receive marketplace insurance subsidies under the 负担得起的医疗法.

Millions of people with low income remain uninsured simply because of where they live. 与此同时, 证据 shows that state expansions of 医疗补助计划 have provided health insurance for millions and improved their health while boosting state economies.

But the reality remains that these states — including Texas — are unlikely to expand coverage without federal action.