Texas bishops urge Biden to end impasse over health care funding for poor

The Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops has asked President Joe Biden and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to end a stalemate between state officials and the federal agency overseeing Medicaid payments that is threatening health care for low-income Texans.

Addressing what they described as "an urgent issue," the prelates Dec. 3 sent the letters explaining that without an agreement covering reimbursements, "children, elderly, disabled residents and those living in poverty throughout our state risk losing access to critical care."

The reimbursements ended Sept. 1 when an agreement between Texas and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, expired.

The impasse "also jeopardizes $10 billion that historically has supported our state's Medicaid system," the bishops wrote.

"Losing these funds in our poorest communities will fracture and devastate our safety net, incredibly, in the midst of a global pandemic that has already adversely affected the poor," the letter said.

The leaders of all 15 Texas archdioceses and dioceses and the Houston-based Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter signed the letter in a sign of unified support for reinstating the health care support plan.