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Singleton: Extend Medicaid for benefit of residents

Note: this letter originally appeared in the April 30 edition of the Austin American-Statesman

Extend Medicaid for benefit of residents

Re: April 22 article, “Appeals court tosses lawsuit blocking Texas Medicaid cuts.”

How long will Texas refuse health care for our most needy residents? Have our legislators considered what life would be like if one is not able to see a doctor when sick? Or when the desperately ill have to go to an emergency room, which then must cover the costs by adding them to the premiums of others’ insurance policies?

Extending Medicaid by accepting the return from the federal government of our own taxpayer dollars is a win-win that has been recognized by other states. Texas, with the highest number and rate of uninsured residents, would be well-served to do the same. What moral universe does not find it unconscionable to reject health insurance when it’s available? And what budget-savvy legislator doesn’t recognize that accepting Medicaid extension would free up funds for other urgent state expenses such as education, child protection and transportation?