Sen. Nathan Johnson’s Statement on Medicaid Expansion by Public Referendum
AUSTIN – Today, Texas State Senator Nathan Johnson filed SB 524 and SJR 34, legislation that would put Medicaid expansion on the November ballot for state-wide voter approval. “Medicaid expansion is, at this point, a conservative action. Over the past several years, the 36 states that have expanded Medicaid – including those led by Republican majorities – have benefitted from improved health and net economic benefit. “The data is in. Medicaid expansion conforms to principles of fiscal responsibility while immediately addressing critical health needs of millions of Texans. “In addition to increasing access to healthcare, Medicaid expansion reduces the rate of uncompensated care, lowers insurance premiums, and provides a substantial economic stimulus to local economies. Currently, Texans pay billions of dollars in federal taxes to support Medicaid in other states. It is time we bring more of our tax dollars back to Texas. “I recognize and respect that many of my colleagues may have serious concerns about going down this path. Indeed, it has been debated in prior sessions. Today, however, as we proceed in this 86th session, the experience of other states should give us the confidence to proceed. This bill calls upon legislators to engage the citizens of Texas in a critical dialogue, and to give them the right to make an informed decision through a public referendum.” Senator Nathan Johnson was elected in 2018 to represent the economically and demographically diverse Texas Senate District 16. Johnson is a member of the Committees on Health & Human Services, Veteran Affairs & Border Security, Water & Rural Affairs, and Administration.