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Medicaid Expansion in Texas Could Benefit 1 Million Texans

Medicaid is the health care safety net for millions of Americans. With the ongoing pandemic, many people lost their jobs and health coverage. However, Medicaid became even more important for struggling people. Out of 12 states, Texas is the one that chose not to take additional federal money to expand the Medicaid coverage in a political battle that has been going on for years now.

On Wednesday, a small step was taken by the Texas lawmakers who voted to go ahead with the bill. The bill would cover most of the vulnerable groups including babies and mothers. One million low-income Texans are hoping for a full expansion soon. A full-time UH student, Amber Ayala, would benefit from the Medicaid expansion.

Ayala is a major in psychology and has an internship. She also works at a grocery store to pay her bills. She also never had a regular doctor check-up due to her busy schedule. Her work hours at the grocery store are not enough for her to get a healthcare benefit. Hence, she does not go to the clinic unless she faces an illness that cannot be tolerated.

Alaya lives on the wish and prayer that she does not get sick or she would have to choose between paying for health and education. She said, “I just wait it out and try to ride it out and hope that I get better within a week or two.” Brian Sasser from Episcopal Health Foundation in Houston claims that the coverage gap is the reason that many Texans do not have access to quality healthcare.

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