Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher’s Expand Medicaid Now Act Signed into Law
Today, Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher’s (TX-07) bill to incentivize states to expand Medicaid was signed into law as a part of The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Fletcher’s bill, H.R. 871, the Expand Medicaid Now Act, provides a new incentive for holdout states like Texas to expand Medicaid by increasing the amount of federal funding to any new expansion state.
Texas is one of 12 states that have not expanded Medicaid. An estimated 1.2 million Texans would be eligible for coverage under expansion, including an estimated 223,700 residents in Harris County.
“In the shadow of innovative, high-quality health care and medical research in our community, Texas has the highest rate of uninsured people in the country, and our state is ranked lowest in access to care. Keeping our communities healthy by expanding access to health care is essential, as the pandemic has shown,” said Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher. “I was proud to work with my colleagues on the Energy and Commerce Committee to ensure my bill to incentivize states like Texas to expand Medicaid was included as a part of The American Rescue Plan Act, and I am glad it has been signed into law by President Biden as a part of this vital response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Fletcher, a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee, worked to incorporate the Expand Medicaid Now Act as a part of The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. Her bill provides a new incentive for states to expand Medicaid by increasing the base Federal Medical Assistance Percentages (FMAP), the rate at which the federal government pays for its share of a state’s Medicaid expenditures, by five percentage points for two years. The current FMAP for Texas is 61.81%. Under this legislation, if Texas were to expand Medicaid the federal share of Medicaid to the state would increase to 66.81% for two years.
Watch Fletcher discuss the importance of Medicaid expansion here.