On Monday, Texas Governor Rick Perry said that Texas will not implement an expansion of the Medicaid program or create a health insurance exchange. This would mean Texas would have the highest percentage of people without insurance outside the key provisions of the signature healthcare law promoted by President Barrack Obama. Currently, about 6.2 million people in Texas are without health insurance. According to percentages, Texas has the highest percentage of people without health insurance in the nation at 24.6 percent. There are more people without insurance in California, but the percentage is lower.
Perry joined other fellow Republican governors from Florida, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Mississippi and Louisiana in rejecting the two key provisions of the new healthcare law. The Republicans hope to repeal the law if they win at the White House.
In an officially issues statement, Rick Perry said “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.”
On Monday, Perry also sent a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking her to relay the message to Obama that Perry would continue to oppose the provisions “because both represent brazen intrusions into the sovereignty of our state.”
Perry said, “stand proudly with the growing chorus of governors who reject the Obamacare power grab. Neither a ‘state’ exchange nor the expansion of Medicaid under this program would result in better ‘patient protection’ or in more ‘affordable care … They would only make Texas a mere appendage of the federal government when it comes to health care.”
Rick Perry is the longest-serving governor in the history of Texas. In 2009 he rejected federal funding for unemployment benefits because accepting it would have required Texas to increase the number of people qualified to draw the benefits.
Though the Supreme Court, ultimately upheld the individual mandate of President Barrack Obama’s healthcare law, it also observed that the Congress had gone too far in the part where the law requires states to expand Medicaid. The court observed that the federal government may not take away Medicaid dollars from states that do not comply with the new law.
Perry said on Fox News that Medicaid is a failure. He said, “To expand this program is like adding a thousand people to the Titanic,” Perry said. “You don’t expand a program that is not working already. If the federal government were serious about finding solutions, what they would do is block-grant those dollars back to the states, so states could find more efficient ways to deliver healthcare.”