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Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Request Medicaid Expansion in Special Session

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On Monday, a bipartisan group of Texas lawmakers sent a letter to Texas Governor Greg Abbott, asking him to put the topic of Medicaid expansion on a future special session call.

A total of 56 House lawmakers signed the letter, including one Republican, State Rep. Lyle Larson (San Antonio).

Larson has previously advocated for Medicaid expansion in the state.

Abbott gave his endorsement for Larson’s re-election in the last cycle, after previously endorsing against him the election cycle before, when Abbott called him “Liberal Lyle” and said, “Lyle Larson is one of the most liberal Republicans in the Texas House of Representatives.”

Medicaid Expansion Efforts During the 87th Legislative Session

Notably absent from this letter are Republican lawmakers who signed on to support a Medicaid expansion bill during the regular 87th Legislative Session, including State Reps. Steve Allison (San Antonio), Kyle Kacal (College Station), Dan Huberty (Humble), Ernest Bailes (Shepherd), Travis Clardy (Nacogdoches), Stan Lambert (Abilene), Phil Stephenson (Wharton), and John Raney (Bryan).

Perhaps unsurprisingly, all of these Republican supporters of Medicaid expansion were rated on the bottom half of the overall Republican House caucus, according to the Fiscal Responsibility Index released by Texans for Fiscal Responsibility last week.

During the regular 87th Legislative Session, the Medicaid expansion bill authored by Democrat State Rep. Julie Johnson (Carrollton) garnered a total of 76 authors, including four Republican joint authors and 71 additional co-authors. This meant that if the bill had made it to the House floor, it would have had enough support to pass.

The bill was never granted a hearing in the House Human Services Committee. In the days leading up to the House’s deliberations of the overall budget for the next biennium, however, President Joe Biden seemingly attempted to tilt the scale by rescinding an approved plan put together

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