Texas Lawmakers Hear Testimony on Health Care Law

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

**Update 11:26**
The health and human services commissioner has cut his estimate of what the federal health care law would cost Texas by 42 percent.

Tom Suehs estimated that if Texas fully implemented the law, it would cost Texas $15 billion to $16 billion over the next 10 years. That is down from his original estimate of $26 billion to $27 billion to expand Medicaid.

But Gov. Rick Perry has said he will reject any attempt to expand Medicaid in Texas to provide nearly 2 million people with health insurance.

Suehs said the revised estimate is the result of new information and spending estimates. He said a U.S. Supreme Court ruling makes it difficult to know exactly how much the law would cost.

Suehs was updating lawmakers on the Affordable Care Act.

Experts will explain to a House appropriations subcommittee how the federal health care law will affect Texas.

Lawmakers want to know what they need to do when they meet next year after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld most of the law last month. Legislators will use the information from Thursday's hearing to draft bills.

Gov. Rick Perry said on Monday that he will reject any attempt to expand Medicaid in Texas to provide nearly 2 million people with health insurance. He also said he would stop Texas from starting a health care exchange to help people buy cheaper personal health insurance. Texas has the highest rate of uninsured in the country.

The subcommittee will also consider how to improve the state's mental health services.

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