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Rick Perry signing something official with his tongue sticking out.
Rick Perry, the nation's dimmest bulb.
Officials in one of Texas's largest counties are not amused by the anti-Obamacare political stance state leaders have taken, not when it means that the struggle to provide health care to the largest uninsured population in the country will continue. Dallas County is adopting a resolution urging state legislators to accept the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid expansion.
“A broad spectrum of people across business, faith and health care communities are coming together to ask that we find a way to draw down these federal dollars, and I think it's imperative that we do,” said Judge Clay Lewis Jenkins, chairman of the Dallas County Commissioners Court.

In 2011, local Texas governments, cities and counties, spent $2.5 billion in unreimbursed health care costs, according to a report by Billy Hamilton, the state's former deputy comptroller and former chief revenue estimator. If Texas expanded Medicaid coverage to impoverished adults in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act, the state could receive an additional $100 billion in federal dollars over 10 years, helping to offset that spending by local governments. The state would pay $15 billion during that time, which opponents of the expansion, including state Republican leaders, argue is too much.

The Dallas Area interfaith coalition helped develop this resolution, and has been working with county activists across the state to pass these resolutions. They have some political heft in the form of support from the Texas Hospital Association and the Texas Medical Association. The El Paso County Commissioners Court adopted a similar resolution on Monday, and officials in Bexar, Harris and Hidalgo counties are considering resolutions this week. Not that it's likely to sway Gov. Rick Perry. A spokesman says, "Counties can bring this before lawmakers, but the governor does not want the state footing the bill. For this to even be considered, counties should have to face paying the entire cost of the program without state tax dollars."

This issue could become a salient one for 2014 elections, with the organizing coalition that's developing behind it. There is no deadline for states to accept Medicaid funding, they can opt in at any point. While the offer of 100 percent funding from the federal government is available only through 2016, states can still have the majority of the tab picked up by the feds long after. So the next state legislature and the next governor could reverse course and do the right thing.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:08 AM PST.

Also republished by TexKos-Messing with Texas with Nothing but Love for Texans and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (27+ / 0-)

    "There’s class warfare, all right, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning." —Warren Buffett

    by Joan McCarter on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 08:08:40 AM PST

  •  Just wondering if the 'pull the plug' hospitals (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    in Texas will all of a sudden decide life support is for the long haul and not 10 days max if patient cannot pay.  Now that they can get their hands on medicaid dollars, will they all of a sudden decide patients need to stay on life support?

    Maybe Medicaid dollars can help Texas hospitals to find their more humane side.  I am guessing they are in it for the money, but maybe humanity will be a side effect.

  •  @Joan I won't get my hopes up but... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TX Unmuzzled

    One can hope. Some days I do not recognize the State that I live in. The embrace of ignorance around here is at times overwhelming.

    He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man...Dr. Johnson (HST)

    by mikeypaw on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 09:37:45 AM PST

    •  Embrace of ignorance by our politicians. (0+ / 0-)

      Yeah there's a fired-up ignorant tea party base and all the undertones that implies, but the vast majority of Texas is centrist populist. It is a deep purple, with deep red and deep blue, sometimes each so deep they're hard to tell apart.

  •  Best of luck to those folks in Dallas County! N/T (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lonely Texan


    "Only he who can see the invisible, can do the impossible." --Frank L. Gaines

    "If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

    by musiccitymollie on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:30:49 AM PST

  •  (sic) don't worry - TX looks to decouple from DC (0+ / 0-)

       Well, at least, they want to "create a committee) to determine what it would cost the state to simply stop receiving all FED dollars.
         Gotta wonder is this is their first step to secession?

  •  It is going to be a domino effect me thinks. (4+ / 0-)

    On rethug state will cave into hospital and insurance DEMANDS that they take the federal money so the hospitals can get paid for care the must by law provide.

    Maybe perry can fool teachers and voters about where the money was but not the hospitals and insurance folks. He will have to put up the moeny so they do not go out of business or cave to Obamacare and ask for help. Once he does it other rethug states will say hey were forced to also one after another.

    Our money system is not what we have been led to believe. The creation of money has been "privatized," or taken over by private money lenders. Thomas Jefferson called them “bold and bankrupt adventurers just pretending to have money.” webofdebt

    by arealniceguy on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 11:32:31 PM PST

  •  Lawmakers in Austin don't care (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It doesn't matter what resolution Dallas brings up, the folks in Austin don't care. They are the conservative's conservative. Many of these folks laugh at nation conservatives for being to soft and liberal. Nothing will change.

    Be involved!

    by ecthompson on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 07:16:49 PM PST

  •  can counties secede from their state? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    royce, suesue

    it seems the Texas thing to do

    I'm a blue drop in a red bucket.

    by blue drop on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 07:17:37 PM PST

  •  Dallas County is the 2nd largest county in Texas (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    suesue, sebastianguy99

    Barack Obama for President '12

    by v2aggie2 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 07:28:16 PM PST

  •  It helps that there's only one R (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    suesue, Fulgour, ferg

    on the 5 person Dallas County Commissioners Court...and at least 3 of the 4 Ds could actually be considered liberal-ish. There's hope in Dallas County!

    In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican. ~ Mencken

    by royce on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 07:52:14 PM PST

  •  There was a point where large Texas counties (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    thought about seeing if they could do the Medicaid expansion on their own

    Barack Obama for President '12

    by v2aggie2 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 at 11:10:53 PM PST

  •  Even good hair Perry will (0+ / 0-)

    cave in and tell his right/winger/religious/wack...the devil made me do it.

    Translated....if I ever want to be elected to anything I must give the appearance of compassion.

    Psst!!!......Mittens you are more of a poor loser than I thought.

    by wbishop3 on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 03:46:05 AM PST

  •  Who's Responsible? (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not a betting person, but I'm willing to bet $1.00 that a majority of the people cited as complaining against Perry's decision, are the same citizens that send Perry and all the other neocons to represent them in the legislature. Citizens should not have it both ways by blinding voting for the crazies and later complaining that the asylum is running amok. Responsible governance begins at the ballot box. Wake up Texas!

  •  It wasn't always this way. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    At one time, we had people like Ann Richards, Molly Ivins, LBJ, Sam Rayburn, Ralph Yarborough, Jack Brooks, Henry B. Gonzales, and a host of other moderate, and even liberal Democrats.  As a lifelong Texan, I'm embarrassed at the arrogant stupidity which has prevailed here for decades.  With the recent dumbing-down of primary and secondary education, it may require another disaster,  like the Great Depression, for people to begin to learn what made this country a wonderful place before the conservative resurgeance which began in 1980. I wish we were alone in our return to 19th century thought.

  •  Dalls Area Interfaith (0+ / 0-)
    The Dallas Area interfaith coalition helped develop this resolution, and has been working with county activists across the state to pass these resolutions. They have some political heft in the form of support from the Texas Hospital Association and the Texas Medical Association.
    Dallas Area Interfaith is part of the Southwest Industrial Areas Foundation network ( IAF), includes 11 broad-based groups in Texas- Austin, Houston, San Antonio, El Paso, Del Rio, West Texas Laredo, and the Rio Grande Valley. There's a press conference planned next week with clergy and leaders from around the state, followed by a lobby day in the legislature.

    The economic costs of the state opting out of Medicaid expansion mean losing billions in federal funding, and losing the jobs that the expansion will create. How many companies will want to locate in a state where they can't find healthy workers?

    I think some sort of compromise may be found- ideas that have been discussed are some kind of swap of Medicaid in exchange for a property tax decrease, or people paying on a sliding scale for Medicaid services. Of course finding a compromise isn't easy when our governor is still running for president.

    Good thing we've still got politics in Texas -- finest form of free entertainment ever invented.- Molly Ivins

    by loblolly on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 09:04:20 AM PST

  •  nation's dimmest bulb (0+ / 0-)

    I think walker is high in the running too

    when I see a republican on tv, I always think of Monty Python: "Shut your festering gob you tit! Your type makes me puke!"

    by bunsk on Thu Feb 14, 2013 at 10:09:00 AM PST

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