News from around the state of Texas

Texas Deal on Medicaid Expansion Possible

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    A top Texas lawmaker says expanding health care for the working poor could happen if federal authorities are willing to strike a deal.

    Sen. Jane Nelson is the chair of the Health and Human Services Committee. Nelson said she hopes Washington will allow Texas to receive $27 billion to expand Medicaid to people who can't afford private insurance. But she said the key is to allow lawmakers to develop a Texas-specific program that will not blow the state's budget.

    The federal government would cover 100 percent of the costs for the first three years, and then 90 percent after that.

    The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that federal authorities cannot require states to expand Medicaid, and so far Texas and 25 other states have refused to participate.