Dueling Capitol news conferences, chanting protesters and caustic sound bites brought a carnival atmosphere Monday to a sober policy question: Should Texas expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act?
Gov. Rick Perry, surrounded by fellow Republicans and sometimes struggling to be heard over shouting protesters just outside of his Capitol office, called Medicaid expansion a foolish and dangerous option.
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— Medicaid is broken; adding patients would make it worse.
— Now one-fourth of the state budget, Medicaid costs could rise to one-third.
— Higher taxes, cuts to education, roads, public safety likely.
— Would cover as many as 1.5 million uninsured Texans, mostly working poor.
— Bring $79 billion in federal money over 10 years, boosting the economy.
— Help relieve hospital, local taxpayer costs of treating uninsured.