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Texas House Approves Closing Medicaid Deficit

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AUSTIN (AP) - The Texas House approved a supplemental spending bill to close a $4 billion budget deficit for Medicaid.

Texas lawmakers in 2011 passed a budget that did not set aside enough money to pay for the health care program for the poor and disabled. That’s left a hole in the current budget that must be filled by next month. The measure now goes to the Senate for consideration.

House Appropriations Chairman Jim Pitts introduced the emergency bill on Thursday urging fellow lawmakers to pass it without any significant changes. The bill provides enough money to solve the Medicaid shortfall and a small amount for education.

Democrats had pushed to add additional money to help offset $5.4 billion in education cuts made in 2011, but withdrew their amendments.

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