In a recent op-ed, Vivian Ho, James A. Baker III Institute Chair in Health Economics, and Elena Marks, Baker Institute Scholar in Health Policy, urge the business community to back Texas' participation in the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) Medicaid expansion program. A Supreme Court ruling on the ACA gives states the option to extend Medicaid to those with incomes below 133 percent of the federal poverty level -- an individual earning less than $15,000 a year or a family of four earning less than $31,000. 

Expanded Medicaid coverage would reach 1.5 million of the poorest Texans and inject almost $400 billion into the Texas economy, Ho and Marks write. "Without coverage, the uninsured will often seek care in expensive hospital emergency rooms, the cost of which is shifted to taxpayers and other insured patients through higher premiums."

Read "Texas must take advantage of Medicaid expansion" in the June 30, 2012, Houston Chronicle.