John Boehner tweets:
That links to this article at the Dallas Morning News, and he gets his figure from the nut graf:
Health and Human Services Commission chief Tom Suehs presented lawmakers Wednesday with an estimate of $27 billion over a decade to expand health insurance coverage. It had been about $24 billion.
But apparently, our favorite Orange-American didn't read further into the article:
Suehs testified that in the decade following 2014, about 2.1 million Texans will begin to be added to Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program. About $5.5 billion of the estimate involves paying doctors and other primary care providers more, so they'll see Medicaid and CHIP patients.
So Boehner is apparently outraged that children are getting covered, that doctors are getter paid better so they take more CHIP and Medicaid patients, and that that Texas' 6.1 million
unemployed uninsured (most in the nation) will have coverage. Got it.
But what about those costs? Well, not only are they (possibly inflated) estimates from a Republican bureaucrat trying to gin up outrage and opposition to the new law, but...
Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, criticized Suehs for disregarding the fact that under the federal overhaul, millions more Texans will be covered – either in government programs or by private insurance. That will relieve the need for the state to spend tobacco settlement money and collect higher fines on drivers to pay for the uninsured and trauma care, he said.
Suehs replied: "Very valid point. ... In some of the programs, there are substantial savings." He promised to produce estimates of those savings.
Hmmm, so it turns out that the health care law will actually SAVE the state money in other programs, lessening its budgetary impact? Huh!
But if you really want to talk about costs...
From 2000 to 2009, under Rick Perry’s one-party Republican rule, Texans’ health insurance premiums have risen 91.6%. While Texans paid the price for Perry policies that profited the insurance companies, benefits were cut and the Children’s Health Insurance Plan was gutted.
Now, as Governor of the state with the highest rate of uninsured people in the nation, Perry is fighting against health insurance reform – choosing to protect the obscene profits of big insurance companies instead of more than 24,000 Texans who lose their health care coverage every month.
I can see why Boehner would be outraged. He fought hard to prevent those 6.1 million Texans from receiving health care coverage, and tried his best to protect the insurance industry to double their rates over Perry's nine-year term.
The cost of health care is not what angers Boehner. It's that everyone now has access to it.
Of course, if Republicans are truly concerned about the cost of insuring people, then he can join progressive Democrats in seeking a public option or Medicare For All option that will offer true competition and keep insurance costs down.
I won't hold my breath.