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Perry: Texas will stand against 'Obamacare'

ElectionsNational GovernmentExecutive BranchRick Perry

Texas Gov. Rick Perry announced Monday the Lone Star State will not execute major parts of the Affordable Care Act, the controversial federal health care law recently upheld by the Supreme Court.

"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," the Republican governor said in a statement.

In a letter sent to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Perry said Texas has no intention to "expand Medicaid under Obamacare" or implement the so-called state exchanges, which are intended to lower costs for everyone by expanding the pool of insured and spreading out risk.

Perry, who ran an unsuccessful bid for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination, took issue with those who claim the reformed health care system would lower costs and enhance patient protection.

The governor said the law's provisions "would only make Texas a mere appendage of the federal government when it comes to health care."

He joins a growing list of other GOP governors who have so far said they'll delay implementation of the law. They include neighboring Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, and Gov. Rick Scott of Florida.

"We have the best interest of our citizens, not the federal government," he said Monday on Fox News. "How we pay for it and how we deliver it should be our decision."

The governor instead suggested allocating Medicaid in block grants, allowing each state to tailor the program to its specific needs.

According to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Research Institute, 14 states and the District of Columbia have made "significant progress" toward implementing reforms, while another 19 states have made "moderate progress," leaving 17 states - or about a third - that have yet to change their laws or take other steps toward implementation.

Asked Monday about a new report by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, which ranked Texas dead last in terms of delivering health services, Perry forcefully hit back against the new study.

"The idea that this federal government, which doesn't like Texas to begin with, can pick and choose and come up with some data and say Texas has the worst health care system in the world is just fake and false on its face," Perry said, pointing to the state's renowned health care facilities.

This isn't the first time Perry has refused to accept federal monies. In 2010, the governor did not take funds for the government's "Race to the Top" education program, citing the state would be required to replace state testing standards with national requirements.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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