In a move that I wouldn't be surprised to see repeated in the near future in the Magnolia State, Governor Rick Perry of Texas declared today that he [won't be implementing Obamacare] in Texas. Specifically, he says the state will not increase its Medicaid roles to cover additional working poor with the program, and the state will not set up the state exchange that's required in the law.
Perry's office sent a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Monday morning asserting his opposition, both to accepting more than a hundred million federal dollars over the next several years to put more poor Texas adults onto Medicaid, and to creating an Orbitz-style online insurance marketplace for consumers.marketplace for consumers.
The story notes that the insurance exchange isn't optional, and that the Federal government will set up a "one size fits all" exchange for the state.
“If anyone was in doubt, we in Texas have no intention to implement so-called state exchanges or to expand Medicaid under Obamacare," Perry said in a statement. "I will not be party to socializing healthcare and bankrupting my state in direct contradiction to our Constitution and our founding principles of limited government."
Texas, according to the story, has the country's highest percentage of uninsured residents.
But Dan Stultz, president and CEO of the Texas Hospital Association, said without the expansion, "many will remain uninsured, seeking care in emergency rooms, shifting costs to the privately insured, and increasing uncompensated care to health care providers."
And for folks who think the current ACA is a "socialist" expansion, does anyone find it curious that conservative leaders would leave their state exchanges to the Federal government to set up? It seems you would want a hand in there, making sure free market principles reign and such.
Although I guess stamping your feet and say "No! No! No!" feels like better politics to Governor Perry.