Local leaders unite for Medicaid Expansion - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

WACO

Local leaders unite for Medicaid Expansion

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WACO -

Waco Mayor Malcolm Duncan Jr. and other local leaders held a joint meeting to discuss expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

Waco City Council, McLennan County Commissioners, Waco ISD trustees and McLennan Community College united to lobby state lawmakers to opt into Obamacare and allow $58 million in local tax money stay in McLennan County.

Right now, Governor Rick Perry has refused state funding from the Affordable Care Act, at the coast of nearly $60 million a year, in McLennan County alone. If state lawmakers reject the federal money to help the uninsured, it could mean higher medical bills, higher insurance premiums and even higher taxes.

CEO of Waco's Family Health Center Roland Goertz said, "The reality is, is that there is a large number of people in our state that are uninsured, that could be insured by this and there's a pool of resources that are already going to be paid in, via the current tax structure, whether we participate or not, it going to happen. We simply won't be benefiting from that pool of money." 

The money the county would get in federal aid has already been paid for by taxpayers but another state could end up benefiting at Texans' expense if the state decides not to participate in Medicaid expansion.

According to Dr. Goertz, there are currently nearly 49,000 uninsured people in McLennan County alone. That makes up just about 27% of the population. And of those 49,000 more than 37% are uninsured. That cost taxpayers money in the form of higher medical bills, higher insurance premiums and even higher taxes.

The Affordable Car Act aims to reduce the number of people who are uninsured by expanding healthcare coverage through state Medicaid programs.

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