In 2015, Texas spent almost half of its budget on healthcare—a total of nearly $43 billion. Now, as health costs spiral out of control, the Lone Star State is trying to figure out how to assure the health of the state’s residents, while still paying for state worker insurance, prison inmate health, and disabled benefits.
As The Dallas Morning-News reports, since 2011 health-related state spending has been increasing faster than both inﬂation and the population rate. Texas now spends more on health care than on public education.
The issue is exacerbated by the fact that Texas has not expanded Medicaid, which means the state is turning its back on matching Federal funds that would ease the problem. The state’s massive prison population is also a cost-driver, a problem that sentencing reform might help alleviate.