story from Bloomberg News
Texas Governor Rick Perry said today he will not expand the state’s Medicaid program or create an insurance exchange, saying President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul represents “brazen intrusions into the sovereignty of our state.”
“I stand proudly with the growing chorus of governors” who have rejected the Obama law, Perry said in a letter today to Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department.
In Perry’s state, about a quarter of the population goes without health insurance, according to the U.S. Census. Perry, a 62-year-old Republican, said in the letter that neither the expansion of the joint state-federal health-care program for the poor nor the insurance exchange, meant to enable the insured to shop for policies, “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.”
Governors in Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi, Iowa and South Carolina also oppose the Medicaid expansion.
Texas has estimated it would cost $27 billion over 10 years to expand coverage under the Obama plan, Stephanie Goodman, spokeswoman for health and Human Services Commissioner Tom Suehs said in a July 2 interview by phone.
Texas will spend $30 billion on Medicaid this year including $13 billion in state funds, she said.
Perry’s opposition to the health-care exchange may not be the final word on the matter: The Affordable Care Act empowers the federal government to establish exchanges when states fail to act.