Medicaid has existed as a federal and state program aimed at cutting costs for low-income individuals since the 1960s. It is also the largest source of help for those who cannot afford health-related services, some of which are not covered by any other programs in the US. Although every state nationwide participates in Medicaid to more or less extent, there is resistance against such extensive medical support measures taking place in some American states, which negates the positive effects of the program.
The fact that a state does not approve the expansion of Medicaid means that those eligible for funding within this state are left with no coverage. Therefore, all of those people fall into the health care coverage gap (Waller, 2018). Under the Obama administration, the states were offered 100% governmental funding for the first two years of Medicaid expansion, and 90% by 2020 (Waller, 2018). Texas and 13 other states refused to comply as their mandate from the 2012 Supreme Court ruling allowed them to (Waller, 2018). According to the existing data, Texas is the most uninsured state for the second year in a row (Fernandez, 2019).
In 2018 17.7% of Texans were not covered by insurance in comparison to the average of 8.9% nationwide (Fernandez, 2019). The state’s decision to stay within the pre-2014 Medicaid eligibility guidelines means that non-disabled adults without minor children will not get coverage no matter how low-income they are (Norris, 2019). Overall, if no progress is achieved in the foreseeable future, Texas will be lagging behind the national levels and leaving more people exposed to health risks than ever.
Still, state authorities have their perspective on the issue and provide consistent argumentation in its favor. They believe that expanding Medicaid would increase the health care costs for the state and that the financial support federal authorities offer would not suffice for all the newly eligible citizens (Fernandez, 2019). As the expansion of Medicaid was initially a part of the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare), it was never in the agenda for Texas, a state with the GOP majority (Evans, 2019).
Nevertheless, it is believed that if the voters would have this option on their ballots, the expansion would pass. Unfortunately, the conservative wing is strong on the negative consequences of the expansion, stating that even more people will expect to get coverage, but will not have the eligibility to do so (Evans, 2019). With these contrasting opinions present, the prospects of Medicaid expansion taking place in Texas any time soon, remain hazy.
In my opinion, Medicaid is an essential part of the US healthcare system, and its expansion is aimed at filling the gap that has been missed before. Its’ purpose is to provide medical assistance to those who happen to earn more than a bare minimum but who still cannot afford any premium insurance options. In the absence of the introduction of this measure, millions of people are left without a chance to get doctor’s appointments, buy prescribed drugs, or get treatment. There are cases when the formal requirements and bureaucracy killed people, as they simply did not make it to the point when their application was approved. Therefore, I believe that the positive input of Medicaid outweighs the necessity for health care costs’ increase.
The promotion of Medicaid expansion starts by listing the facts. First of all, the government provides 100% financial support to cover the expansion in the first two years, gradually reducing the rate by 10% later on (Waller, 2018).
So, there is virtually no reason to say that the deal hurts the economy: the state improves its statistics on the health care coverage gap and does not have to increase the costs for two years. Secondly, apart from improving the statistical background, the state gets healthier residents, a more productive workforce, and fewer issues businesses have to deal with when they hire uninsured employees (“Medicaid,” n.d.). Thirdly, it serves as an overall boost for the local economies, as more insured people mean more services and working opportunities provided for medical institutions (“Medicaid,” n.d.). Thus, the benefits of expanding Medicaid and following most of the states are transparent.
It was partially mentioned above that the expansion of coverage benefits medical institutions and those who work in the field in general. The more population is covered by health care insurances or programs; the more working opportunities are provided for the people with a profession related to it. Medicaid covers one-fifth of health care spending and is one of the primary funding sources for hospitals, physicians, nursing homes, and more (“Kaiser Family Foundation,” n.d.). It provides funding for jobs in the health care sectors; thus, it is essential for those who pick it as a career path to pursue.
All in all, Medicaid is one of the most important pillars of the health care system of the United States. It provides coverage for the population that is not eligible for any other insurance opportunities but exposed to the same health risks and needs medical assistance. Although the program might have its flaws, it seems that Medicaid expansion is the measure that should be introduced in every state, because health is one of the critical priorities and should be guaranteed to all.
Evans, M. (2019). Voters in four states have approved Medicaid expansion by ballot. Will Texas do the same? Web.
Fernandez, S. (2019). Texas has the most people without health insurance in the nation – again. Web.
Kaiser Family Foundation. (n.d.). Web.
Medicaid. (n.d.). Web.
Norris, L. (2019). Texas and the ACA’s Medicaid expansion. Web.
Waller, A. R. (2018). Texas still hasn’t expanded Medicaid. That’s leaving a gap in coverage for hundreds of thousands. Web.