© 2020 Texas Public Radio
Real. Reliable. Texas Public Radio.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Texas Republican Stance On Medicaid Expansion Seems To Be Shifting

joaquin castro at podium-130401.jpg
Ryan Poppe

The Obama Administration gave states the option of either implementing a Health Exchange system or signing on for Medicaid expansion. Up until now Republicans have been against both plans, but Rep. John Zerwas, R-Simonton, has indicated that health exchanges may be the right choice for Texas.

"This allows us to comfortably draw down the money from the federal government attributed to providing healthcare to the group of people who are the 130 percents," Zerwas said.

He also said this would be a Texas-unique plan, where the state would be able to set the number of initial health exchanges. Zerwas also mentions that he is skeptical about the funding, a sentiment that has been echoed by several other Republicans.

"If the federal government was willing to give the state flexibility and we had the option of completely withdrawing if the federal government broke their word on funding, which I am worried they will, then I think the Senate and Legislature would be willing to look at, said Lt. Governor David Dewhurst.

Earlier in the week, Republicans released a promotion video featuring Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, that speaks to the benefits of a health exchange.

Some discussion on the matter is expected to hit the House floor as lawmakers take on the final version of  the Senate's budget bill.