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Nelson responds to Supreme Court ruling
From staff reports
Texas State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound, Thursday offered her perspective on the U.S. Supreme Court's historic ruling on the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The court upheld the federal government’s right to tax individuals and employers who refuse to purchase health care insurance as required under the act.
"This ruling underscores what is at stake in November," Nelson said. "Taxpayers cannot afford the astronomic price tag of this ill-conceived plan, which will hurt employers and weaken our economy. The health care system is nowhere near ready for the massive influx of patients who will be forced to buy coverage, especially given our existing health care workforce shortages. The future of this law is now in the hands of voters.”
In the same ruling, the court upheld the ACA’s Medicaid expansion provision but removed the federal government’s ability to withhold existing Medicaid funds from states that do not comply. The Medicaid expansion is projected to cost Texas billions in state dollars.
"This provision represents the number one budget driver in the act, and we will schedule hearings soon to digest how this and other aspects of the ruling will impact our state," Nelson said. "We will continue to advance Texas solutions to our health care challenges."
As chair of the Senate Health & Human Services Committee, Nelson is presiding over her second interim study in the last four years on the potential impact of the ACA in Texas. Her committee – jointly with the Senate Committee on State Affairs – must make recommendations to the next Legislature relating to how to proceed in light of this new ruling.
NELSON represents District 12, including portions of Tarrant and Denton Counties. She is chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services; chairman of the Medicaid Reform Waiver Legislative Oversight Committee; and is a member of the Senate Finance Committee.