This month, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) into law. What does this mean for Texas families and our fight for health justice in Texas? Let’s dive in:
- This is the biggest federal investment in health care since the Affordable Care Act! It’s HUGE.
- For the first time in our history, Medicare will be able to negotiate drug prices. This means more affordable prescriptions for seniors.
- The IRA will protect nearly two million Texans with ACA marketplace plans from big spikes in their health insurance premiums next year. This includes over 370,000 Texans who would have likely lost their coverage because they wouldn’t have been able to afford the 2-3x premium increases.
- We know that Texas has the highest rate of uninsured people in the nation—more than 1 in 3 Texans are uninsured—AND Texans are facing higher prices everywhere to take care of their families. So, we are relieved the IRA will help keep health care costs down.
- Ultimately, a federal fix to close the coverage gap was not included in the IRA.
- This means ~1 million mostly Black and brown Texans still have no pathway to affordable health coverage. Our uninsured friends and neighbors will have to keep making choices between their health and their bills.
- For over a year, we have been working closely with our Southerners for Medicaid Expansion coalition partners to get Congress to close the Medicaid coverage gap. We made great progress and are grateful to our Texas Congressional leaders who championed this work.
- In failing to close the coverage gap, Congress missed a huge opportunity to make progress towards racial equity in our nation’s health system.
The Work Ahead: (spoiler: we’re not backing down)
- We’re fighting for a Texas where the health of our loved ones is not determined by their zip code or how little money they have in their bank accounts. There’s still so much to do in Texas at the state and local level to expand Medicaid and more—and we need YOUR help..
- We’re deepening our work with long-time partners, teaming up with new collaborators, and building up our #SickOfItTX grassroots people power to make our voices even stronger in the upcoming 2023 legislative session.
Health Policy Manager, Children’s Defense Fund – Texas