In advance of the 86th Texas Legislative Session, Rep. Celia Israel (HD 50) filed House Joint Resolution 40 and House Bill 590, requiring the state, upon approval by Texas voters, to expand Medicaid to more than 1.6 million Texans who are currently uninsured.
Past attempts to expand Medicaid or provide a “Texas Solution,” by both Republican and Democrat lawmakers have failed. Now, Rep. Israel says the voters should decide, “If lawmakers can’t find the courage to expand access to health care coverage so our children and families can see doctors and get life-saving treatment, I know Texans have the courage.”
In Texas, law cannot be made via statewide referendum, but the voters can approve amendments to the state constitution. “Let’s let the voters decide. At this point it’s beyond irresponsible – it’s reckless – for state leaders not to take some sort of action.”
If HJR 40 and HB 590 pass, Texas voters will get to decide to bring over $114 billion of Texas’ taxpayer dollars back to the state and most importantly, give over 1.6 million Texans without health care coverage access to basic coverage and treatment that could save their lives.
32 other states are already providing their residents expanded health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act. In 2019, four more states will expand coverage, making Texas one of last few states to take action yet again.