Texas Eldercare Advocates Pushing for Increased Medicaid Funding
Feb 21, 2013
Waxahachie, TX (Law Firm Newswire) February 20, 2013 – The Medicaid system in Texas is overburdened; it is uncertain if that will change any time soon.
The 2013 Texas Legislature is faced with deciding whether to take $100 billion in
federal funding under the Affordable Care Act over the next 10 years to help provide Texans with enough Medicaid health care coverage.
The Texas Health Care Association (THCA), urging the current Legislature to support more funding for the state’s Medicaid system, has found that approximately 60,000 elderly and disabled Texans living in nursing homes are dependent on Medicaid services. Caring for those individuals, they say, will cost an estimated $925 million.
A spokesperson for the THCA has requested that the Texas Legislature adjust the state budget to adequately meet the needs of those individuals receiving care. According to Tim Graves, President of THCA, Texas Medicaid is grossly underfunded; funding that has not been adjusted since 1999.
Supporting the new funding is a report recently released by former Deputy Comptroller Billy Hamilton. Hamilton has projected that if the state allocated $15 billion on expanding Medicaid over the next decade, it would develop more than 230,000 new jobs within the next four years, and get $100 billion back. But Gov. Rick Perry has repeatedly stated that Texas will not expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.
Eldercare advocates express concern that without adequate funding, quality patient care is threatened. A significant number of the seniors needing care are 80 years old or older, needing round-the-clock care, with strictly limited funds. “Between 80 and 85 percent of nursing home patients in Texas have their care funded at least in part by Medicaid and/or Medicare,” says Dallas elder law attorney John Hale.
With Washington lawmakers continuing to explore where to make budget cuts to manage the federal fiscal crisis, funding continues to be slashed for programs such as Medicaid, but, advocates point out that the system has already suffered serious cuts.
In 2011, Texas had $58 million in Medicaid funding reductions; federally, there was a $234 million Medicare-cut in 2012. Texas currently has more than 6 million uninsured residents, an estimated 23.8 percent of the population, as of 2011.
John Hale is a Dallas elder law attorney and Dallas estate planning lawyer with The Hale Law Firm. To learn more visit http://www.thehalelawfirm.com.
The Hale Law Firm
100 Executive Court, Suite 3
Waxahachie, TX 75165