(Reuters) – Governor Rick Perry said on Monday Texas will not implement an expansion of the Medicaid program or create a health insurance exchange, placing the state with the highest percentage of people without insurance outside key parts of President Barack Obama’s signature law.
The announcement makes Texas the most populous state that has rejected the provisions. Some 6.2 million people are without health insurance in Texas, or 24.6 percent of the state population, the highest percentage in the nation. California has more people without insurance but a lower percentage.
Perry joined fellow Republican governors of Florida, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Mississippi and Louisiana in rejecting the two provisions of the law, according to americanhealthline.com. They hope that November elections will result in Republicans winning the White House and enough seats in Congress to repeal the law.
“I will not be party to socializing healthcare and bankrupting my state in direct contradiction to our Constitution and our founding principles of limited government,” Perry said in a statement.
He sent a letter on Monday to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking her to relay the message to Obama that Perry opposes the provisions “because both represent brazen intrusions into the sovereignty of our state.”
“I stand proudly with the growing chorus of governors who reject the Obamacare power grab. Neither a ‘state’ exchange nor the expansion of Medicaid under this program would result in better ‘patient protection’ or in more ‘affordable care,'” said Perry, who dropped out of the Republican presidential race in January. “They would only make Texas a mere appendage of the federal government when it comes to health care.”
Sebelius spokesman Keith Maley said the department “will continue to work with states to ensure they have the flexibility and resources they need to implement” the law known formally as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Perry, the longest-serving governor in Texas history, is a frequent critic of the Obama administration and the author of a book on states’ rights called “Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America From Washington.” Perry in 2009 rejected federal funding for unemployment benefits because accepting it would have required Texas to expand the number of people entitled to draw the benefits.
To read more, visit:Â http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/09/us-usa-health-texas-idUSBRE8680O220120709
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