In today's Houston Chronicle there is an article with the above title about how Texas Gov. Rick Perry had signed a bill closing the state's high risk health insurance pool effective Jan. 1, 2014. So current policy holders from the high risk pool have been informed that if they want health insurance after Jan. 1 they will need to sign up for a new policy before Dec. 15 from the federal Healthcare.gov ACA health insurance exchange.
On the surface this seems like a good idea. Those in the state's high risk pool are those who could not get health insurance from any company in the state usually because of pre-existing conditions or having health care costs that have passed the caps of their previous policies. This was one of the reasons the ACA exchanges were established: to be able to help people find reasonably priced health insurance for those even with pre-existing conditions that will also no longer have lifetime caps. So this seems like a win-win: The State of Texas no longer has to fund and operate the high risk pool, and high risk Texans who could only get expensive health insurance from the state's high risk pool can now easily obtain more affordable policies on the exchanges without fear of rejection or caps. But since this is Texas, there is an undercurrent of deep irony and hypocrisy running throughout this situation. This irony/hypocrisy is discussed below the fold.
This article in the Houston Chronicle says:
Since 1998, the pool charged high prices to Texans with pre-existing conditions to obtain insurance they can’t get elsewhere. But because the Affordable Care Act prohibits price discrimination for pre-existing conditions in the new health insurance marketplace, the state ruled the pool is now “obsolete,” according to the Tribune.Note that in June 2013, Gov. Perry and the Texas Lege accepted the reality of President Obama's Affordable Care Act, and abolished the state's high risk pool as being "obsolete" because they knew and understood that the federal ACA health care exchange would be available for use of Texas' citizens, especially those in the high risk pool. Now this is the same Rick Perry who is also mentioned in this sentence of the same article:
Gov. Rick Perry signed the bill to abolish the pool in June.
Perry called forcing Obamacare on the nation was “a criminal act.”Oh man, the irony, hypocrisy, and bullshit piles up so fast in Texas, you need wings to stay above it! Don'tcha just love that Gov. Perry is now forcing his high risk citizens into "the criminal act" called Obamacare because his own state's high risk pool is now "obsolete" due to that very same "criminal act" called Obamacare that Gov. Perry is actually acknowledging the existence and effectiveness of by his very actions.
Actually, I'm happy that the ACA health care exchanges are now available to Texans (even though Texas refused to set up its own state-run exchange and was forced to rely on the federal Healthcare.gov exchange). More people will have health care insurance because of the ACA exchange (but not enough because this is still Texas, and a lot more edjumacation about the ACA still needs to go on here). But the total irony and utter hypocrisy of Gov. Rick Perry here just makes me want to roar back and laugh. I guess all Rick Perry can say in this case is "Oops!"