El Pasoans call on Texas Gov. Rick Perry to rethink Medicaid expansion

Saturday, March 9, 2013 - 10:09pm

Lawmakers and locals in El Paso rallied support Downtown today in their effort to expand the Medicaid program in Texas.

City, county, state, and community came together to call on Governor Rick Perry to reconsider his decision to reject $100 billion in government money that would fund Medicaid services for low-income Texans.

Governor Perry said he wants to block Medicaid’s expansion. He's refused to accept $10 billion a year for 10 years from the federal government. Perry said the billions Texans would have to spend in expanding Medicaid services could cripple the state budget.

Last week, Florida’s Governor became the latest to accept the federal government’s funds to expanded Medicaid services in their state.

At the rally in El Paso today, locals urged Governor Perry to do the same.

“One of the hold outs is Governor Perry. He prides himself in being a Christian. We want him to do the right thing and insure his people that need it,” said Eloiso DeAvila. 

“This is standing in the way of great jobs that come with growth in health care. Any time you have added capacity in health care, you need more doctors and nurses, and all of the support services that come with that. That makes good business sense and good economic sense,” said El Paso County Judge, Veronica Escobar. 

It's a governor's decision whether to accept federal money for Medicaid expansion. The federal government cannot make the decision one way or another.

Organizers at today’s event say if Governor Perry would accept the money, another 1.5 million uninsured Texans would have health insurance.

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