Rick Perry strikes again.
Gov. Rick Perry
that the free expansion of Medicaid for the state included in Obamacare is just one big trick by the federal government.
“Texas will not be held hostage to the Obama administration’s attempt to force us into this fool’s errand,” he said, flanked by Republican Sens. John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and Reps. Joe Barton and Michael Burgess.
Rick Perry isn't entirely clear on what being held hostage means, apparently. Three years of free money to make people healthier isn't effective hostage taking, but hell, it's Perry, and it makes more sense than this statement, from the same press conference: “It was federally sponsored jailbreak that betrayed the most fundamental promise any government makes its citizens." Okay, then.
But this is Dumb Pronouncements From Texas About Medicaid Day, so chime on in, Dick Armey.
Bottom line is that the status quo doesn’t make sense for providers or patients. Neither does the Medicaid expansion called for by ObamaCare, which seeks to double down on a failed system while offering no constructive path to reform. As Texans, we can do better.
The answer, of course, is block grants. The feds should just give Texas a chunk of money to spend how it wants and to figure out on its own what it's going to do when the money runs out. Because the money will run out. That's a feature of the block grant plan: It's the system Republicans have devised to kill off Medicaid once and for all.
Right now, Texas has 2,036,000 uninsured adults [pdf]. Out of those 2 million, 1,748,000 would be eligible for Medicaid under the expansion, if Texas were to take it (289,000 are currently eligible, but are not enrolled). In one year, as many as 2,938 lives could be saved in Texas with this expansion. But for Rick Perry and Dick Armey, those preventible deaths don't matter. Because freedom.
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