Letters to the Editor

January 31, 2014

Texas and Medicaid

Cynthia Allen’s Thursday essay concerning challenges faced by our state’s participation in the Medicaid program raises some interesting points, and some of her suggestions for improvement may be worth consideration. Calling the program a “failure,” though, is not fair, nor is her analysis of the Oregon Medicaid experiment.

Cynthia Allen’s Thursday essay concerning challenges faced by our state’s participation in the Medicaid program raises some interesting points, and some of her suggestions for improvement may be worth consideration. Calling the program a “failure,” though, is not fair, nor is her analysis of the Oregon Medicaid experiment.

In fact, the Oregon experiment found that although the differences were not great (not statistically significant, as statisticians might say) those participating in Oregon’s Medicaid program actually did improve in every single category of health indicator that was measured, compared with those not participating, and the rates of depression among participants were found to be significantly less than non-participants.

Until its flaws can be fixed, the really important Medicaid question facing Texas and Texans is why our leaders refuse to participate in the expansion of Medicaid as provided for by the Affordable Care Act, and are thereby denying approximately 1 million Texans health coverage that would be largely financed by the federal government. At the same time, taxes paid by Texans are used to fund the Medicaid programs available to citizens of those 26 states whose leaders already have accepted the expanded program.

— Richard L. Cole,

Arlington

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