Fact Check: Would expanding Medicaid have brought in $100 billion to Texas’ economy?

Our weekly check-in with the Texas Truth-O-Meter.

By Nusaiba Mizan, PolitiFact/Austin American-Statesman; radio interview produced by Alexandra HartJanuary 12, 2022 1:34 pm, , ,

From PolitiFact Texas:

Announcing his candidacy for governor, former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke said Texas has left billions of dollars on the table by failing to expand Medicaid during Gov. Greg Abbott’s tenure.

“Expanding Medicaid, which if we had done at the beginning of the Abbott administration, would have brought in $100 billion to this state’s economy,” O’Rourke said at a Nov. 19 rally in Houston.

Texas is one of 12 states that hasn’t expanded Medicaid coverage, which is backed mostly by federal funding. Using 2020 data, roughly 1.4 million uninsured adults would be eligible for health care coverage under Medicaid expansion in Texas — 34% of the state’s uninsured nonelderly adult population, according to a February Kaiser Family Foundation fact sheet.

There’s no doubt Texas passed up a lot of money by not expanding Medicaid. But is O’Rourke’s statement accurate that Texas passed up $100 billion?…

Read the full story and see how O’Rourke’s claim scored at PolitiFact, and listen to an interview with PolitiFact Texas’ Nusaiba Mizan in the audio player above.

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