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Texas Medicaid Load Rising Without Expansion

(credit: Theo Heimann/Getty Images)

(credit: Theo Heimann/Getty Images)

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AUSTIN (AP) – Officials estimate the Texas Medicaid caseload could soon increase by more than 600,000 cases, despite the state’s decision not to expand the program under new federal health care law.

Health and Human Services Commissioner Kyle Janek told a state Senate committee Thursday that Affordable Care Act-related Medicaid enrollments may rise from around 90,000 to 722,000 by 2017.

That’s mainly because the law critics call “Obamacare” changed qualifying income requirements, meaning more young Texans will move from the state children’s health care program to Medicaid.

But the increase is also due to outreach efforts under the law, which alerted many low-income families who otherwise wouldn’t have known they qualify for Medicaid.

In all, around 3.8 million Texans receive Medicaid.

Still, the jump was large enough to surprise some lawmakers.

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