Millions of Texans do not have health insurance. Most cannot afford private insurance and are unable to obtain basic or preventive health care. Texas could alleviate a substantial portion of the state’s uninsured problem by expanding health insurance coverage using available federal funds and reap notable economic and fiscal gains in the process.
The primary reason to expand health insurance is to help some of the state’s most vulnerable populations access needed care, thus improving the lives of individuals and families. According to a recent study, an estimated 954,000 newly eligible adults would enroll in an expansion if it were currently available, bringing approximately $5.41 billion in federal dollars annually to the state.
The Perryman Group estimated the potential economic benefits of accessing federal funds to increase health insurance coverage in Texas:
- If Texas implements the program to access federal matching funds for health insurance expansion in 2021, the economic effects for the 2022-23 biennium would include gains of $45.3 billion in gross product, $29.4 billion in personal income, and almost 461,700 job-years of employment over the biennium, including multiplier effects.
- Looking over a longer time horizon, the benefits of expanding health insurance coverage become even more apparent. The Perryman Group estimates that implementing the program to access federal matching funds for health insurance expansion in 2021 would lead to total gains over the first 10 years of the program (fiscal years 2022-31) of $244.7 billion in output (gross product), $158.9 billion in personal income, and well over 2.1 million job-years of employment (including multiplier effects).
- If Texas had previously implemented the program to access federal matching funds for health insurance expansion, current net economic benefits would include an estimated increase in 2020 gross product of almost $21.7 billion, with corresponding gains of about $14.1 billion in personal income and more than 231,700 jobs when multiplier effects are considered.