Republicans seek alternatives for Medicaid costs

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Republican lawmaker says she plans to file legislation seeking federal permission for Texas to bypass some Medicaid requirements.

In addition to a temporary waiver request, Rep. Lois Kolkhorst said she plans to pursue a health care agreement between the states and the federal government. She said she would offer details in the coming weeks.

Kolkhorst spoke alongside Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and members of a conservative think tank who were decrying the growing costs of Medicaid. The state-federal cost sharing program provides health care to needy Texans.

Arlene Wohlgemuth, executive director of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, said Medicaid was a "failed program and it is unsustainable." She proposed another state-driven program to replace Medicaid.

Dewhurst said he's supportive of any free-market efforts to improve Medicaid.