Expect some serious financial impact in just two years in the Lone Star State as the health care reform-mandated expansions to Medicaid kick in — with access to doctors not projected to magically appear overnight, as well.
With the lowest rate of insured residents in the country (24.6 percent) and a low physician supply, estimates are that the 1.8 million new Medicaid enrollees will require $2.6 billion in new state spending between 2014 and 2019, and another $52.6 billion in federal spending during the same period.
As a result, nearly 5 million Texans would be on Medicaid, despite already existing shortfalls in access to both primary care and specialist physicians. The 3.3 million currently under Medicaid care already have issues getting access to doctors, especially in rural areas.
The news, taken from this week’s American Medical News and based on Kaiser Family Foundation research, indicates that Texas is just one of many states (especially in the West and the South) where 16 million citizens are projected to join the Medicaid ranks in 2014.