After unfruitful efforts to expand Medicaid during the Legislature, a bipartisan letter has been sent to Abbott asking him to add the expansion of the joint state-federal program to the recently announced special session, set for July 8th.
“With over 5 million Texans already uninsured before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and an additional 1.7 million Texans having lost their health insurance since March 2020, we cannot delay any longer in expanding Medicaid.” the letter reads.
Signed by more than 40 Representatives, the letter includes Republican Lyle Larson of San Antonio, who broke the party-line House vote on the expansion, during the Legislature.
Rep. Larson recently made headlines for referring to the lieutenant governor Dan Patrick as “just a jerk” during an interview on the Puro Politics podcast.
“I’m not certain what drives him. I think he’s got some psychological issues. He’s got just an insatiable desire for power. I think it’s time for him to see the gate and get out the gate,” said Larson.
According to Houston Public Media, Texas led the country in uninsured people in 2019 with an estimated 5.2 million lacking basic health coverage, which at 18.4%, it is double the national average. Expanding Medicaid in Texas could reach more than one-third of those uninsured, more than 1.4 million people.
“Polling shows nearly 70 percent of Texas voters support expanding Medicaid. However, Texas laws does not allow voters to bring ballot initiatives forward for consideration,” the letter reads, “As such, Texans are reliant on their government to act. This is a matter that deserves real debate and public input via the legislative process”.
Abbott is yet to respond.