Medicaid expansion in Texas is up to state lawmakers

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said if Texas wants to expand its Medicaid program, then state leaders must reach out to the agency, reported the Associated Press. But first, lawmakers must have discussions on the state level about expanding Medicaid with leaders in the business, medical and faith communities to create a plan "that looks uniquely Texan" before looping in federal regulators, she added. "We are eager to have those conversations. But I think they need to start with a Texas group coming together and talking to us," Sebelius said Tuesday in Houston. Sebelius made the comments after Texas lawmakers refused to expand Medicaid or create a health insurance exchange, both key tenants of the healthcare reform law. But since Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the country, HHS hopes to work with state lawmakers to reach an agreement. "Texans are already subject to too much costly and burdensome federal regulation, and Obamacare only makes the problem worse," Gov. Rick Perry said in a statement. Article

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