Texas Gov. Rick Perry has announced that the Lone Star State will not participate in two ObamaCare programs: The expansion of Medicaid to cover more individuals and the creation of a state insurance exchange. “Both represent brazen intrusions into the sovereignty of our state,” Perry declared in a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
Texas has thus become the sixth state — after Florida, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Mississippi, and Louisiana — to opt out of these two provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). All of these states are headed by Republican Governors.
“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,’” Perry wrote. “What they would do is make Texas a mere appendage of the federal government when it comes to health care.”
The PPACA requires states to establish insurance exchanges on which individuals who do not have employer-sponsored health insurance can shop for the plan that best meets their needs at a price they can afford. If a state fails to establish an exchange, the federal government will do so.
Southern Methodist University law professor Tom Mayo questioned Perry’s decision to forego setting up an exchange, telling KXAS-TV that Perry is therefore “inviting the federal government to come in and do it for us.”
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Photo of Texas Governor Rick Perry: AP Images