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Thu Jul 12, 2012, 05:27 PM

Health law would cost Texas less than forecast

AUSTIN, Texas Fully implementing the federal health care law and adding 2 million people to Medicaid would cost Texas $11 billion less than previously estimated, the state's health and human services commissioner said Thursday.

Tom Suehs said it would cost $15 billion to $16 billion over 10 years if Texas fully implemented the law. That's 42 percent less than his initial estimate of $26 billion to $27 billion to expand Medicaid to include poor single adults and more children.

A study by the federal, nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated that the additional cost for Medicaid expansion is 2.8 percent more than what an individual state would normally spend on the program.

Suehs provided the updated estimate to the state Legislature after Republican Gov. Rick Perry on Monday told federal officials he will reject any attempt to expand Medicaid in Texas. The governor has the power to veto bills and the GOP-controlled Legislature is unlikely to challenge his decision.

http://www.statesman.com/news/texas/health-law-would-cost-texas-less-than-forecast-2415394.html

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