A report by two state agencies determined that if Texas withdrew from the Medicaid health care program, it would cost the state $15 billion a year in federal funds.

The report, released on Friday by the Department of Insurance and the Health and Human Services Commission, also found that the state's share of Medicaid expenditures would exceed $30 billion in fiscal 2011, up from $11 billion in 2000.

"This 170% increase in just 11 years far exceeds growth in state tax revenue," the report said.

Leaving the joint state-federal program would mean the loss of medical coverage for 2.6 million Texans, mostly poor and disabled, according to the report. Because hospitals are required to treat these patients, the burden of their care would fall on counties.

Texans would continue to pay federal taxes to support the program if the state abandoned it.

Gov. Rick Perry, who earlier said opting out of Medicaid would save the state $60 billion between 2013 and 2019, did not repeat his call for Texas to leave the program.

"Texas, the states, and the federal government would be much better served by increasing flexibility and innovation in Medicaid, even block granting funds to the states, so we can tailor Medicaid dollars to best serve the needs of Texas patients, families, and taxpayers," Perry said. "I have discussed these issues with other governors and policy experts, and will be working on ways to improve the utilization of Medicaid dollars in Texas."

Medicaid accounts for more than 25% of the state's budget and 15% of its personal health care spending.

Subscribe Now

Independent and authoritative analysis and perspective for the bond buying industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.