On Monday, Texas Governor Rick Perry sent a rather pointed letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, explaining why his state will not be taking measures to prepare for the implementation of ObamaCare (specifically, with Medicaid expansion and a state insurance exchange). Burrrrrrrn:
In the ObamaCare plan, the federal government sought to force the states to expand their Medicaid programs by – in the words of the Supreme Court – putting a gun to their heads. Now that the “gun to the head” has been removed, please relay this message to the President: I oppose both the expansion of Medicaid as provided in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the creation of a so-called “state” insurance exchange, because both represent brazen intrusions into the sovereignty of our state.
I stand proudly with the growing chorus of governors who reject the PPACA power grab. Thank God and our nation’s founders that we have the right to do so.
Neither a”state” exchange nor the expansion of Medicaid under the Orwellian-named PPACA would result in better “patient protection” or in more “affordable care.” What they would do is make Texas a mere appendage of the federal government when it comes to health care.
Although his erstwhile presidential bid was somewhat ill-fated, Gov. Perry has few rivals in the straight-shootin’ ability to guilelessly tell it like it is — and doing so like a boss, to boot. The governor appeared on Fox News this morning to explain his reasoning, and I think he’s got it completely right on what’s really going on here:
“If anyone had any doubt, we wanted to put it clearly to bed that Texas wasn’t going to be a part of expanding socializing of our medicine,” he said in an exclusive interview with Fox News. “We’re not going to participate in any exchanges, we’re not going to expand Medicaid – we’re just not going to be a part of, again, socializing healthcare in the state of Texas.” …
“Medicaid is a failed a program. To expand this program is not unlike adding a thousand people to the Titanic. You’re going to further drive this country into debt,” Perry said. “You don’t expand a program that is not working already.” …
“If the federal government is serious about working with the states and finding solutions to the healthcare needs, what they would do is block grant those dollars back to the states,” he said. “I can assure you that Texas and other states would find more effective, efficient ways to deliver healthcare to their citizens and do it in a way that preserves those individuals freedom.”
“I’m always intrigued with the concept that there’s free money out there, and that we can pour more money into a program that has already failed, and somehow or other we’re going to have a different result than what we had the first time,” he added. …
“If the private insurance sector wants to set up these types of ability to trade across lines and what have you – I think they ought to have the ability to do that,” he said. “But not this one-size-fits-all, federally-mandated, Washington-centric concept that the Obama administration, through Obamacare, is trying to force upon us.”
So. Much. Truth. The federal government reserves the right to swoop in and set up these programs themselves if Texas and fellow rebel states follow through on their promise to not act, but I’m still keeping my fingers crossed, hoping darn thing repealed before it comes to that. Gulp.