A glitch in the federal health reform bill that would make many middle-class Americans eligible for Medicaid could cost Texas nearly $90 million a year by 2017, according to a state analysis.
The Associated Press reported last week that unintentional language in President Obama's health reform bill would let up to 3 million people — largely early retirees — qualify for Medicaid, the joint state-federal health insurance program for the poor, by 2014.
If the language isn't changed or repealed — unlikely, considering Medicare's chief actuary, and now the Obama administration, has acknowledged it makes no sense — Texas would see roughly 270,000 to 280,000 new Medicaid clients a year, starting in 2014. (That's 9 percent of the nation's total.)
The costs wouldn't kick in for Texas until 2017, when they're estimated to be an additional $89.2 million a year, according to numbers run by Texas' Health and Human Services Commission.