Unprecedented

Texas May Opt Out of Medicaid

Bold move, Texas. Very bold. With the state facing an estimated $25 billion budget shortfall, the Texas GOP is considering a plan for the state to opt out of the federal Medicaid program. Even moderate Republicans are reportedly mulling the idea, and party advisers say it’s a serious proposal. The move could save $60 billion from 2013 to 2019, according to the conservative Heritage Foundation, though some lawmakers caution the cuts could have ripple effects through the economy. “We need to get out of it. And with the budget shortfall we’re anticipating, we may have to act this year,” said one conservative state representative. The Texas program, which covers millions of poor people, the disabled and children, presently costs $40 billion every two years, with the federal government picking up 60 percent of the bill.