Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Medicaid in Texas Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 words

Medicaid in Texas - Essay Example While some states spend as much as 75 percent of every new tax dollar on Medicaid, in Texas the amount is just over 25 percent, still a substantial amount (Recap of 80th Texas Legislature). Budgetary concerns and federal mandates have forced the Texas legislature to successfully implement significant Medicaid reform in the last ten years. The overriding problem for Texas, and Medicaid's biggest impact, has been the escalating costs during the last ten years. Since 1998, the total Medicaid budget in Texas has nearly doubled, and the 80th legislature session in 2007 budgeted almost $20 billion dollars for the program for 2008 of which over $8 billion was from Texas state taxes (State & Federal Medicaid Spending in Texas; Recap of 80th Texas Legislature). Texas's biennial process, and their low level of per capita state taxes has presented Texas with significant financial challenges as they are forced to budget well in advance during uncertain economic times (Kaiser Commission 1). Affected by this uncertainty are the citizens in Texas where Medicaid, "provides health coverage for one out of every three children in Texas, pays for more than half of all births and covers two-thirds of all nursing home care" (State & Federal Medicaid Spending in Texas). The once simple program has expanded to become a complex institution w ith complicated eligibility requirements and federal guidelines. ... In an effort to bring more children under the Medicaid umbrella, the federal government enacted the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) in 1997 to cover children who lived in families that earned too much money to qualify for Medicaid assistance. By 2005, 72 percent of the non-elderly participants in Medicaid were children who were eligible for "a full range of health services including regular checkups, immunizations, prescription drugs, lab tests, X-rays, hospital visits and more" (State & Federal Medicaid Spending in Texas). In 2001, the 77th legislature further expanded access to the children's program by eliminating the "face-to-face interview requirements for application and recertification of children's Medicaid benefits in an effort to ensure that Texas Medicaid eligibility verification procedures will be no more difficult than those of the Children Health Insurance Program" (Stout 31). Today, children comprise the largest portion of aid recipients, but the majo rity of the costs are incurred by the elderly and nursing home care. This has prompted Texas to fully implement the SCHIP program and fundamentally change the way Texas finances their health care. Medicaid, and the SCHIP program, have helped move Texas from a system of public hospitals and county health support systems to a system of expanded public coverage (Kaiser Commission). In Texas more than 25 percent of the population is uninsured and their reliance on emergency room care and safety net providers has led to poorer health, higher cost of care, and an increase in insurance premiums in an effort to shift the cost of health care to insurance premium holders (Texas Health and Human Services Commission (1) 3). To alleviate these pressures, Texas has

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