House Democrats called a last-minute press conference Wednesday afternoon to announce that if Medicaid expansion isn’t quite dead, it’s certainly on life support.

Yesterday, Republican Rep. John Zerwas conceded that his “Texas solution” to draw down federal money under the Affordable Care Act remains stuck in the House Calendars Committee, with little chance of escape. Any bill the committee hasn’t assigned to a hearing on the House floor by midnight Thursday is unlikely to get a vote.

 Rep. Sylvester Turner has proposed a different plan to expand Medicaid, which faces a similar fate.

“Unless we know some way to resurrect the dead, it won’t be resurrected this session,” Rep. Turner said.

Eight Republican governors have already said they would agree to expanding the eligibility requirement for Medicaid from 100 percent above the federal poverty line to 133 percent. In Texas, that would mean more than a million people would be newly eligible by 2016. In exchange, the federal government would cover all of the costs for the first two years of expansion, and 90 percent after that. Although their plans differ, both Reps. Turner and Zerwas would utilize the offer to bring more federal money to Texas.

Gov. Rick Perry has said he refuses to accept anything other than a block grant from Washington, which would allow the state to implement coverage with no strings attached.

House Democrats say the governor’s public stance ultimately had a “chilling effect” on any possible compromise.

“What happened was, after Florida and Ohio, Gov. Perry went to Washington, to the Republican Governors Association, and said ‘We don’t want any more states accepting the expansion of health coverage, whether it’s private market, like Arkansas, or whether it’s Medicaid.’ And he said don’t do it. So that’s an attack on the ACA, because no more states with Republican governors have approved the expansion,” Rep. Garnet Coleman said.

In spite of the gloomy predictions, Democratic lawmakers believe a window to expansion could still be possible. Sen. Tommy Williams could add a rider to the budget bill currently being debated in conference committee.

“The important part is that neither the rider nor the bill mandated that the governor or HHSC carry out the Medicaid expansion or expansion coverage, so that has always been the case. There is no mandatory carrying out of doing the expansion. It’s only if you do, these are the parameters that the legislature would like to see,” Rep. Coleman said. “The idea that you could get a Medicaid expansion, with parameters laid out by the state under the Texas-style plan without a mandate to the HHSC or the governor, is still possible.”