HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — After Edilio Acosta moved to Texas, he said he didn’t realize he wouldn’t have the same access to free health care he was used to in his native Cuba.
In his native Spanish, Acosta told 13 Investigates’ Daniela Hurtado that he only earns about $1,600 a month working in a factory.
He said getting health insurance is unaffordable right now, and he’s not alone.
Statewide, 4 million people are uninsured, according to the Texas Medical Association.
“We have the dubious honor of being the least insured state in America, which is not a proud distinction,” said Joe Freudenberger, CEO of OakBend Medical Center in Richmond.
To be currently eligible for Medicaid in Texas, you must be pregnant, responsible for a child, age 65 or older, or have a disability, or a family member with a disability, along with a certain household income, according to the government. website for profit.
States with expanded Medicaid extend health coverage to more low-income and working residents, even if they are not elderly or disabled.
State Sen. Nathan Johnson, D-Dallas, is one of the Texas politicians who has been trying to expand Medicaid for Texans for years.
“We are now one of 10 states that have rejected Medicaid expansion benefits. It goes back to when the Affordable Care Act was first enacted, and Medicaid expansion was initially mandated and then make it optional for states through a Supreme Court ruling,” Johnson said. “(It’s) essentially covering more people. We’re talking about the working poor, by definition. We’re not talking about people who don’t work. We’re largely talking about families where at least one person works.”
With Texas refusing to participate, that means millions of dollars of your federal tax dollars will go to other states because they’re earmarked for expanded Medicaid. Tonight at 10pm on ABC13, 13 Investigates investigates why state leaders in Austin are refusing to expand coverage and how many Texans it could help.
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