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Texas will neither expand Medicaid nor establish a health insurance exchange

Texas will neither expand Medicaid nor establish a health insurance exchange, two major tenets of the federal health care law that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld last month, Gov. Rick Perry announced this morning.

“I stand proudly with the growing chorus of governors who reject the Obamacare power grab,” he said in a statement. “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.”

Perry’s office said he’s sending a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius this morning to explain his opposition to accepting over $100 million federal dollars to place more poor Texas adults onto Medicaid, plus to creating an online insurance marketplace for consumers.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that states — even Texas, which has the country’s highest rate of the uninsured — may not be punished for opting out of the Medicaid. The insurance exchange is not optional; if Texas doesn’t devise its own, the feds will establish a one-size-fits-all program for the state.

Texas is now the largest state to reject the Medicaid expansion. Last week, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker all said they would reject the expansion and would not set up the health care exchanges required under Obama’s health care law. Perhaps as many as 26 states are considering rejecting the expansion.

“I stand proudly with the growing chorus of governors who reject the Obamacare power grab,” Perry continued in his statement.

“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.”

A new study by the Texas Medical Association shows a huge drop in the number of Texas doctors now willing to accept Medicaid. The Associated Press reported only 31 percent of doctors now accept new Medicaid patients, down from 42 percent in 2010 and 67 percent in 2000.

By J.J. Smith, Publisher

 

 

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