Gov. Rick Perry has an answer for why Texas has the largest population of uninsured residents in the nation: it's George W. Bush's fault. Well, that's not actually what he says, but it's the gist of it
Roughly a quarter of Texas residents are uninsured — the highest percentage in any state and substantially higher than the national average. When asked during Wednesday night’s GOP presidential debate how he can defend that statistic, Perry said it’s the federal government’s fault.
“We’ve had a request in for years at Department of Health and Human Services to have that type of flexibility, where we could have menus, where we could have co-pays, and the federal government refuses to give us that flexibility,” Perry said. “We know for a fact that, given that freedom, the states can do a better job at delivering that healthcare and you’d see more people — not just in Texas, but across the country, have access to better healthcare.”
The Bush administration rejected Perry’s proposed Medicaid changes in 2008.
Specifically, the Bush administration rejected an application by Texas in 2008 for a Medicaid waiver, because the application was "incomplete and riddled with problems." Apparently, the state hasn't resubmitted the waiver request.
The other part of this that is just sad is that Perry accepts the crappy Texas economy, low-wage jobs that don't provide health insurance. Surely there should be some answer other than Medicaid to such high numbers of uninsured workers, like better paying jobs that include health insurance. So much for the Texas miracle.