Patrick Bresette, Executive Director of the Children’s Defense Fund – Texas, issued this statement about the Trump Administration’s decision late last week to extend partial funding for Texas under the 1115 Medicaid Waiver — but also to gradually revoke roughly $2.5 billion a year that has provided critical funding for health care programs that largely serve uninsured Texans across the state, starting in September 2021:
“This agreement does nothing to improve Texas’ health.
“This half-measure fails to extend $2.5 billion in mental health services, preventive and chronic disease care, rural health programs, and other services — largely serving uninsured Texans — that have become essential in virtually every corner of the state.
“This is a 10-year agreement, negotiated in the last 5 days of the Trump Administration. It is incumbent on state leaders to find a way to fund these programs before September, when the funding will begin to disappear, and to aid the roughly 5 million Texans who lack health coverage.
“The extension does provide vital funding to cover care that some hospitals and clinics provide to uninsured Texans. We are glad that Texas will avoid the deadly disaster of losing this funding altogether.
“But Texas has the nation’s biggest uninsured population and its highest percentage of uninsured residents. Our cities are riven by health disparities. So many of our rural communities are starved for doctors, hospitals and mental health care. And our state’s public and private health systems have been pummeled by the pandemic.
“This rushed, last-minute agreement with the Trump Administration doesn’t pretend to solve those problems. While these are important funds for Texas, this is not — and should not be portrayed as — a real solution to the state’s health care crisis. Texas leaders need to act to ensure more Texans have access to coverage and care, especially in the midst of this pandemic.”