The Texas Medicaid Director, Billy Millwee, spoke to the House Public Health and Insurance committees this week regarding the Affordable Care Act. The director has been tracking the trends and effects that the federal health care law has birthed in the state and has come to a promising conclusion. Currently, 74% of the state’s residents have some form of health insurance coverage. Millwee claims that when the Affordable Care Act is fully enacted in 2014, this will jump to 91%.
By that time, only 2.3 million Texans will have no health insurance. Millwee suggests that the vast majority of these people will be undocumented immigrants. Millwee’s estimates, however, are based heavily on whether the state will build its own health insurance exchange. Governor Rick Perry has been opposed to the Affordable Care Act as a whole and have chosen not to pursue action on any of the law’s provisions until the Supreme Court determines whether the law is unconstitutional or not.
Despite Governor Perry’s opposition, lawmakers have said that they are ready to implement new laws that will make the state compliant with federal standards concerning health care and insurance. Millwee expects that these laws will have an overwhelming beneficial effect for Texas residents. Though he is optimistic, he notes that reform of this magnitude will still be somewhat challenging for legislators and citizens.
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