Dallas Area Interfaith is part of IAF a network 10 organizations in Texas that are non-partisan and represent over 400,000 families in Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, the Rio Grande Valley, Austin, El Paso, West Texas, Laredo and Del Rio Eagle Pass. The IAF Network has been working to create healthy communities across the state for over 40 years. Dallas Area Interfaith and the other IAF organizations continue committed to build the power so that ALL poor and working families have access to health care. Below is the state of health care in Texas.
One million Texans are in the coverage gap because Texas chose not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. Unless they are pregnant or disabled, adults (19-64) with incomes under 138% of poverty level do not qualify for Medicaid in Texas. 69% are in working families but most do not have access to employer-based coverage, all have limited income available to buy coverage on their own, and none qualify for subsidies through the exchange. Clinics and hospitals will continue to serve this population but this system is stressed by increasing demand and limited resources. Experience in other states shows that failing to cover these people would result in an estimated 8,400 premature deaths each year.
In addition to generating an estimated 231,000 new jobs in Texas by 2016, the stimulus from the additional federal funds from 2014 through 2017 would also generate an estimated $1.8 billion in new state tax revenue, offsetting half of the $3.7 billion in state match required, as well as generating $2.5 billion in local revenue. It would also boost the economy by $67.9 billion and reduce the current $1.8 billion in annual hospital charity care costs.
Federal funds will pay 100% of the costs for the first year, gradually decreasing to never less than 90%. Savings from the cost of existing local and state programs plus the increase in tax revenues from the boost to the economy would cover Texas’ share of the costs. Property owners could see a significant savings in local taxes going to support indigent health care in their counties. Policy holders could see a reduction in premiums due to the reduction in unreimbursed care which is currently reflected in the amount of their insurance premiums. In addition, premium tax dollars would offset some of the cost to the State.
What is a premium tax? This is the tax that is charged on every health insurance premium. Estimates are that for every $100 dollars the state gets back 7 ½ cents. This money goes into the general revenue budget.
CLICK HERE or on the image at the left to download a PDF of the DAI Way Forward, including a breakdown by county of benefits and savings to Texans.