Medicaid supporters rally outside State Capitol
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More than a thousand Texans from all over the state converged on the Capitol in Austin Tuesday to ask lawmakers to preserve and expand Medicaid.
Lawmakers are in the midst of making changes to the government-run health care program, though Gov. Rick Perry has made it clear he does not want to expand coverage under what he calls “Obamacare.”
About 3.3 million Texans use Medicaid as their primary source of health insurance. State lawmakers are in the midst of debating whether or not to accept additional federal funds to expand the program.
Some argue the state shouldn’t invest in a program that’s broken. Others believe the state’s most vulnerable residents can’t afford for the state to not pursue the expansion.
Accepting the federal funds would give Texas the means to insure an additional 1.5 million residents.
Nicky Boyte, a single Austin mother, said she and her son depend on Medicaid. She was one of hundreds of demonstrators who came out to the rally.
"He's healthy, but we still gotta go to those doctor visits and get those braces on the teeth and all that," Boyte said.
Many who don't support the expansion of Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act crafted by President Barack Obama say the system is broken, and that it will eventually bankrupt the state.