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Center for Public Policy Priorities
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Supreme Court’s Decision Means Affordable Coverage for Texas Families
—The Center for Public Policy Priorities released the following statement today regarding the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act:
“Today’s Supreme Court decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is great news for Texas families. With more than 6 million Texans uninsured and billions of dollars in federal funding on the table for our state, Texas has the most to gain from today’s pivotal decision.
“Millions of Texans have already benefited from the ACA — seniors are paying lower drug costs, people with pre-existing conditions received coverage, young adults have been able to stay on their parents’ insurance plan, and insurance no longer has lifetime limits and covers preventive care with no out-of-pocket costs. After today’s decision, they can all rest assured that the law’s changes will remain in place. Also, millions more will benefit from reforms that will be implemented in 2014 when no one can be denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition and low- and moderate-income Texans will have access to more affordable coverage.
“The 2014 coverage expansions – through Medicaid and sliding-scale subsidies for private insurance in the new exchange – will be financed overwhelmingly by the federal government. From 2014-2019, coverage expansions are estimated to bring $119 billion new federal dollars to the state, while Texas must put up about $6 billion from our state budget for its share of the Medicaid expansion. This is a great deal for Texas – millions of our uninsured will finally have affordable coverage and the state budget will only have to pick up a small fraction of the tab. The Court’s decision raises the possibility that individual states could refuse to expand Medicaid, leaving billions of federal dollars on the table and millions of our poor uninsured.
To make sure Texas fully benefits from the federal health care law’s changes, our state leaders should:
• Create and implement an effective “exchange”—a competitive health insurance market
• Move forward with Medicaid coverage for our working poor adults
• Ensure our Medicaid enrollment system is ready to work with that new exchange
• Select new state minimum standard for insurance benefits that takes effect in 2014
• Reestablish the Texas Department of Insurance’s health insurance consumer assistance office, and
• Provide TDI with needed authority to enforce new consumer protections and deny excessive rate increases.
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