Hispanic population would benefit from Medicaid expansion, says study

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation examined who was most eligible for coverage if Texas expanded health care to the poor.

The foundation used the U.S. Census and other independent data to determine which demographic could benefit from a Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care act.

The study found that 38% percent of Hispanics living in Texas are uninsured. If Governor Rick Perry accepts the Medicaid expansion proposed by the Obama Administration, 58% of Hispanics would qualify for coverage, according the the findings.

The expansion would provide comprehensive health care for Americans with incomes below 138% of the poverty line.

"If you look at the demographic in the state of Texas, 34% of Latinos are considered at the poverty level, or below," said Dr. Brian Eades of Amarillo.

Republican leaders in Austin reaffirmed on Monday that they will not accept a Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. Republican Party of Randall County Representative, John Tyson, said Governor Perry's stance on expanding Medicaid could be hurt the party's Hispanic voter turnout.

"I would be inclined to differ with Governor Perry because in the last election apparently Republicans lost much of the Hispanic vote," said Tyson."If more money is need to acquire a segment of the population to support us, then I would be more inclined to support it."

Local Hispanic democrats agree, according to Panhandle Tejano Democrats Secretary, James Campos.

"If they do intend on grabbing that Hispanic vote, they're going to have to reverse their stance or maybe at least start to ease up on some issues of the Health Care Reform," said Campos.

Amarillo physician Dr. Brian Eades said the Republican Rejection isn't surprising.

"We've already had a hard time funding education in Texas, we have a very favorable business climate with low cost of taxes, and what they can see in the long run is a huge increase in the cost of Medicaid in Texas, which is going to make it very difficult for us to balance out budget."