Rally at Capitol urges Texas to spend more on Medicaid

Posted Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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AUSTIN -- Fort Worth lawmakers were among about 200 people who rallied Wednesday on the state Capitol steps, calling for Texas to spend more on Medicaid -- a move that could bring $100 billion in new federal funds to the state to cover healthcare for more residents.

"We know Gov. Perry is completely out of touch with the reality that's facing Texans in the area of healthcare," Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, told the crowd. "He is out of touch with Texans who have to wait until they are so sick they have to go to the emergency room so they can get healthcare."

Rep. Lon Burnam, D-Fort Worth, urged the crowd not to be discouraged by the inaction on the issue. "Where there's a will, there's a way," he said.

Expanding Medicaid to cover more adults is a key part of the federal Affordable Care Act. But Texas has declined to embrace it. The state could get $100 billion in federal funds for a $15 billion investment in state funds, according to one report.

The noon rally was sponsored by Austin Interfaith, which includes leaders and clergy from numerous religions and denominations.

Gov. Rick Perry and other Republicans have argued that Medicaid is a poorly run program that would hamper the state budget.

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