FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 2, 2015
For more information contact Bee Moorhead @ 512-636-3135
Senate proposal would burden disadvantaged Texans and property taxpayers
AUSTIN—In response to Lt. Governor Patrick and Sen. Schwertner's letter asking federal officials for flexibility to increase burdens on current Texas Medicaid recipients, Texas Impact issued the following statement:
"Texas faith communities have a deep, historic commitment to our state’s healthcare system. Many of our hospitals retain their denominational names to this day.
We are dismayed that the Senate leadership would propose to ratchet down its already minimal support for the least of our brothers and sisters, thereby exacerbating the already onerous unfunded mandates the Legislature places on local jurisdictions.
Texans today pay twice for our uninsured. We send income tax dollars to Washington D.C.—dollars that the federal government intends to send back to cover uninsured Texans, but which state leaders have steadfastly refused.
Because lawmakers refuse to accept the repatriation of our income taxes, Texans must pay for charity care at local hospitals through property taxes. In fact, a 2013 report by former Deputy Comptroller Billy Hamilton estimated that hospital district taxpayers absorb more than $2 billion in local health care costs. Senate leaders have indicated that property tax relief is a priority—but the fastest way to reduce local property taxes would be to draw down available federal funds to provide health insurance for low-income Texans.
Instead, Senate leaders seem to be headed in the opposite direction. If legislators are successful in tightening restrictions for existing Medicaid recipients—who are almost exclusively children, the aged, and those with disabilities—they will only increase demands on local systems while making life harder for millions of our most challenged neighbors."
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