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Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins: We Should Expand Medicaid

In an editorial in the Texas Tribune today, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins split from the majority of Texas pols (but not their constituents) and endorsed an expansion of Medicaid in the state:

Dallas County has 672,681 residents who are uninsured — 28.1 percent of the population. Expanding Medicaid would provide eligibility to an additional 133,000 citizens, add $580.5 million in annual Medicaid funds to Dallas County, and generate hundreds of millions of dollars in additional economic activity, providing Dallas County and other large counties with the opportunity to cut local taxes while simultaneously dramatically improving coverage and economic competitiveness. Conversely, failure to participate will place our taxpayers in the position of covering other states’ expansion with our federal taxes while continuing to pay the full cost of our own expansion population with local taxes…

…Now is the time to seize the opportunity. The Texas Medicaid population represents a significant portion of the critical mass needed for national expansion to reach its objective. As other states opt in, critical mass grows without us. Since the first three years of expansion are covered by federal tax dollars, drawing down our fair share as soon as possible is only prudent.

Dallas State Rep. Eric Johnson has filed a bill to expand the state’s Medicaid program in accordance with the Affordable Care Act. Rick Perry is not impressed.