Medicaid Coverage and Reform: It is the vision of the Texas Medical Association to improve the health of all Texans. Too many Texans, too many of our patients, cannot afford the health care they need. This hurts their health, the economic growth and prosperity of our state, and taxpayers all across Texas.
We currently have a tremendously cost-effective opportunity to improve access to health care for these Texans. Unfortunately, that federal offer comes in the form of expanding before reforming our Medicaid program to cover the working poor.
Medicaid provides essential health services for millions of Texans. But many parts of the current Texas Medicaid system are broken. It offers the promise of coverage without adequate funding to ensure access to care. It is fraught with exasperating, unyielding red tape. Its overzealous "fraud inspectors" are getting in the way of taking care of patients. Physicians should not accept the option of simply expanding that broken program.
On the other hand, we cannot reject the federal government's offer to help us care for the working poor of Texas. Physicians need to take this money and use it for our people, our patients.
We must look beyond the federal government's expansion solution to design a remedy that works for Texas and for Texans. The people of this state are ingenious and innovative problem-solvers. We are confident that state leaders and lawmakers with input from employers, physicians, taxpayers, and others can design a comprehensive solution that:
Draws down all available federal dollars to expand access to health care for poor Texans;
Gives Texas the flexibility to change the plan as our needs and circumstances change;
Clears away Medicaid's financial, administrative, and regulatory hurdles that are driving up costs and driving Texas physicians away from the program;
Relieves local Texas taxpayers and Texans with insurance from the unfair and unnecessary burden of paying the entire cost of caring for their uninsured neighbors;
Provides Medicaid payments directly to physicians for patient care equal to at least those of Medicare payments; and
Continues to uphold and improve due process of law for physicians in the State of Texas as it relates to the Office of Inspector General.
The Texas Medical Association calls on the American Medical Association to advocate for Medicaid payments to all physicians for patient care to be at least equal to Medicare payments (Amended BOT/COL/CSE/SC-MCU Joint Rep. 3-A-13).