This weekend, the Odessa American penned a great op-ed asking what Rick Perry's health care plan is. He struts around Texas, and the whole country, preaching fanatical opposition to the Affordable Care Act and his rejection of newly available Medicare funds for Texas.
But what's Perry's plan for Texas' highest-in-the-nation uninsured rate, a total of 5.8 million Texans? That's what the Odessa American wants to know. Noting that the Legislature closed without doing anything about uninsured Texans, the paper asks: “So where is Perrycare? What's the governor's plan to help those people and the hospitals that don't get reimbursed for their care when it's more serious because those people couldn't see a primary care doctor?”
Perry “can't deny that a problem exists,” it continues.” Don't he and lawmakers have an obligation to address such a serious matter? Have they effectively said their plan is “Wedon'tcare”?”
Yup. What other conclusion is there to draw? Our state government is functionally abhorrent, spending millions of dollars in taxpayer money in frivolous lawsuits against Obamacare over doing anything about Texas's unfathomably high number of uninsured.
Read the full editorial below the jump.
The Legislature closed its regular session without having expanded medical coverage for uninsured Texans, as Gov. Rick Perry vowed would happen.
It was a political victory for Perry, who may run for president again in 2016, and for other critics of Obamacare.
OK, so they've made sure that Texas won't be part of the federal system, at least until they meet again in two years. In the meantime, the number of Texans without health care coverage will rise from the current 5.8 million, even as Texans continue to pay for health care for uninsured people in other states.
So where is Perrycare? What's the governor's plan to help those people and the hospitals that don't get reimbursed for their care when it's more serious because those people couldn't see a primary care doctor?
Perry can object to the provisions in the Affordable Care Act, but he can't deny that a problem exists. Don't he and lawmakers have an obligation to address such a serious matter? Have they effectively said their plan is “Wedon'tcare”?
That group even opposed a Republican lawmaker's bill that would have authorized state health officials to negotiate with the Obama administration to craft a Texas delivery system with co-pays and other features requiring patient responsibility.
Their snit might make them and other Texans feel good, but it's costly – about $85 billion over 10 years, the difference between the $15 billion Texas would have to pay to draw down $100 billion federal money, according to the Hobby Center.
In addition to providing care and peace of mind for one-fourth of the state's population, consider the economic impact of injecting that much money into the state.
Texans can debate whether Obamacare was the best way to address the nation's health care issues and even whether a federal approach was justified.
There's no debate, though, that millions of Texans need health care coverage, that a plan exists for most of them to become insured and that it could be done for less money than any elected Texas official could have imagined just a few years ago.
So again we ask: Where is Perrycare?