For years, the six most populous counties in Texas have provided free or low cost health care for uninsured low-income residents. But if those residents were able to enroll in the expanded Medicaid program it could save the county governments millions of dollars.
That’s why Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff says he’s exploring if it’s possible to bypass Austin and have Bexar county join the expanded Medicaid which was part of the Affordable Care Act.
“Just to give you a financial impact in Bexar County alone – we have 52,000 people that we take care of on a cost sharing program and it costs us about $2,000 a year for each one of them — over $100 million per year. If Medicaid was available as it’s been presented to the state it would take half of those people off and it would save Bexar County about $52 million a year.”
Wolff said under the current law it doesn’t look like Texas counties can join the expanded Medicaid but he hopes that could change — depending on who comes out on top in the November Election.
Also, Bexar County could pool with the other large urban counties of Texas to further bring down local costs for providing health care to the low income uninsured.