Texas Gov. Perry says no to health care expansion
(CBS News) Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, is the latest governor to opt-out of major aspects of the health care law. Perry indicated that he "has no intention" of expanding Medicaid or putting in place a state-based health insurance exchange, both central components to expanding health care coverage.
Perry, governor of the second most populous state, where a quarter of its 25.6 million residents are uninsured, informed the federal government of his plans in a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
"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," Perry wrote in the letter.
He added, "Through its proposed expansion of Medicaid, the [Affordable Care Act] would simply enlarge a broken system that is already financially unsustainable." Perry also wrote that state exchanges treat "the states like subcontractors through which the federal government can control the insurance markets and pursue federal priorities rather than those of the individual states."
Since the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate but rejected the terms for the Medicaid expansion, giving states an opportunity to reject their share of the federal-state partnership, Texas becomes the latest state to indicate that it will not implement the core of the Affordable Care Act.
"I stand proudly with the growing chorus of governors who reject the Obamacare power grab," Perry said in a press release.
For the uninsured entering the insurance marketplace, a federal exchange is expected to be available if a state chooses not to implement the state-based exchange.
As for some of the 16 million expected to be eligible for the new Medicaid expansion who live in states planning to opt out, such as Texas, the path to insurance is unclear, potentially leaving millions uninsured.
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