Bill clears way for Medicaid debate in full House

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Associated Press

Posted on April 23, 2013 at 3:02 PM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 23 at 3:07 PM

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A debate on drawing down millions of federal dollars to provide Medicaid for more Texas residents is heading to the House floor.

Republican state Rep. John Zerwas said Tuesday that the Texas Legislature is "running out of time" to address what he calls one of the most important issues facing the state. The House Appropriations Committee agreed to move his proposal to the full chamber.

Zerwas concedes that passage won't be easy. The Republican-controlled House began the week by instructing budget negotiators not to vote on any expansion of Medicaid while hashing out a new state budget with the Senate.

Zerwas is calling on the federal government to issue a block grant to Texas rather than force the state to expand under the Affordable Care Act.

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