Weatherford Democrat

Viewpoints

March 13, 2013

ESTES: The Medicaid mousetrap

By STATE SEN. CRAIG ESTES

My granddad often told me, “there’s always free cheese in a mousetrap.” Those words have never rung more true than with Medicaid expansion. I can’t help but think Texas is being lured by “free” federal dollars into expanding Medicaid. Mousetraps don’t work out well for mice, and Medicaid expansion won’t work out well for Texans.

First, Texas can’t afford Medicaid expansion. Since 2000, the cost of Medicaid has tripled and now costs the state of Texas $11 billion per year, or approximately one out of every four dollars state government spends today. Even without expansion, Medicaid is expected to continue its rapid growth. By 2023, Medicaid will consume 37 percent of the state budget, costing more than $30 billion annually. That’s more than Texas spent on state courts, public safety, natural resources, general government, business and economic development, and higher education combined during the 2012 fiscal year. If Medicaid growth is left unrestrained it will literally squeeze judges, police and professors out of the Texas budget. The cost of Medicaid is already out-of-control. It makes no sense to expand it.

Second, federal matching funds may be a “good deal” to government bureaucrats, but they aren’t a good deal to Texas taxpayers. It’s like “free” money to them, but to hard-working Texans those dollars are anything but free since Texas taxpayers fund the federal government. Most Texans realize these funds, federal or state, come out of their own pockets.

Third, the massive fraud that permeates Medicaid would only be made worse by expansion. In the last 10 years, the Texas Attorney General has identified more than $770 million in suspected Medicaid fraud. During the 2012 fiscal year alone, the attorney general’s office opened 418 Medicaid fraud and abuse cases.

Medicaid is not working. Fraud and spiraling costs are not hallmarks of a successful government program.

Medicaid is a fiscally unsustainable, fraud-ridden, broken, inefficient and ineffective one-size-fits-all approach to health care. Instead of focusing on expanding a failed program of the past, the path to a brighter future lies with creating good-paying jobs in Texas. Job creation, not Medicaid expansion, is the most meaningful path to affordable health care. Rarely is growing government the solution to Texas’ problems – health care is no different. Medicaid expansion is a bad deal for Texas and it should be rejected. Free cheese, I don’t think so!

Craig Estes, R-Wichita Falls, is a state senator representing District 30, which includes Parker County.

1
Text Only
Viewpoints
  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Now is the time for all good men...

    When man’s greed, desire for riches, power and control of our nation become greater than their love of humanity and our country, by constantly fomenting discord and hate among the citizens, warmongering and constantly talking of wars against other nations - it is putting political ideology before the welfare of citizens and country. It is time for We the People to take a good look at these men involved - no matter their status in our nation, we call the United States of America and decide whether or not they deserve the privilege and sanctuary of our nation.

    July 25, 2014

  • tiscione, lou.jpg TISCIONE: Finding a church

    God commands His people to “keep holy the Sabbath Day.” The “Sabbath Day” was changed by the apostolic church to the first day, Sunday. The church refers to every Sunday as the Lord’s Day. Each Lord’s Day is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Therefore, a professing Christian will seek to find a local church in which to invest in the kingdom and worship the King! 

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • John Paul Carter-color.jpg NOTES FROM THE JOURNEY: What’s your current address?

    Shortly after we moved to Weatherford 19 years ago, the old post office (today’s Court Building) that was literally bursting at the seams was replaced by a new, larger facility – our present mail center that sometimes seems outgrown as we stand in line to buy stamps or mail a package.  

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Good company, better service

    We would like to thank Devin’s Handyman Service, Gary Boase, David Schramm and James Reed for the wonderful job they did repainting our front fence, front porch, back porch, patio and deck. Everything looks new and makes such a difference in our home.

    July 23, 2014

  • PASTOR POPHIN: The joy of unity in church

    Do you enjoy going to church? I mean, do you really enjoy going to church? No matter how you answer, there are some common reasons — or perhaps we would call them conditions — that would cause all of us to truly enjoy going to church. 

    July 20, 2014

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Don't judge a book...

    Dear Editor: Thursday night, July 17, I was present for a surprisingly interesting experience when state representative candidate Matthew Britt addressed a small group of supporters, followed by a question and answer session.

    July 20, 2014

  • larry jones cropped:color NOW HEAR THIS: The blessing of memories

    Many years ago, shortly after I retired from the navy, I was sitting around shooting the breeze with my brother David, when he remarked that he regretted never serving in the military and experiencing the things I had seen. Like most of our farmer ancestors, he spent his entire life within five miles of where he grew up. Not unlike our parents, he could also count on the fingers of one hand the number of times he had even been out of the state of Texas and probably have digits to spare.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0912 one bday wm j kelly 2013 mug.jpg KELLY: What do you think?

    Immigration: Wow! Where are all these illegal boys and girls coming from, and why? The “why” is a big question! I’m sure 5-year-olds are not coming for a better life and income. 

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • tiscione, lou.jpg TISCIONE: Signs and seals

    God gave the church signs and seals. These are called sacraments or holy ordinances. They are both holy and commanded. There are two sacraments instituted by Jesus Christ. They are Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. These sacraments are often referred to as “secondary doctrine.” They are secondary not because they are unimportant. They are secondary because they are not necessary for salvation. 

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Response to 'Blame game'

    Dear Editor: It’s not drug cartels telling Central Americans their children won’t be turned away at the border, it is the actions of this administration with its refusal to secure the border and its unilateral rewriting of immigration law. As has been shown, this president and his administration have for some time lied about the security of the border and immigration enforcement.

    July 17, 2014

Must Read
Top News
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Palestinians and Israeli Soldiers Clash Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive