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Letters to the editor, February 10

Ready to work

Today, our state leaders face another significant state budget challenge, including the critical decision of whether to expand eligibility for Medicaid to more Texans.

It is optional for states to expand Medicaid coverage for adults with family income up to 133 percent of federal poverty guidelines.

For the first three years, from 2014 through 2016, the federal government will cover 100 percent of the state’s costs for the expansion. In subsequent years, the federal government would cover at least 90 percent.

Approximately 6.3 million Texans, many of whom are employed, are uninsured. The cost of providing health care to those individuals is borne by the provider community, which cares for all patients, regardless of their ability to pay, and by employers and taxpayers.

If more Texans can be insured, there can be a focus on wellness and prevention and improving quality of care while lowering the total cost of care.

For these reasons, the League of Women Voters-Texas stands ready to work with legislative leaders to expand Medicaid eligibility and improve health care in our state.

Sue Smith, president, League of Women Voters of Denton