Today GOP Texas Gov. Rick Perry has decided, by fiat it would seem, has decided he will deny health insurance for millions of Texans, Perry: TX Won’t Implement Key Elements of Health Reform.
Texas will not expand Medicaid or establish a health insurance exchange, two major tenets of the federal health reform that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld last month, Gov. Rick Perry said in an early morning announcement.
Perry’s office sent a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Monday morning asserting his opposition, both to accepting more than a hundred million federal dollars over the next several years to put more poor Texas adults onto Medicaid, and to creating an Orbitz-style online insurance marketplace for consumers.
“I look forward to implementing health care solutions that are right for the people of Texas,” Perry wrote in the letter to Sebelius. “I urge you to support me in that effort. In the meantime, [health reform's] unsound encroachments will find no foothold here.”
Just exactly what kind of fake free market, tax payer money for corporate greed scheme that would be is anyone’s guess. More on how many will not get insurance from BOR, Big, Bad News: Rick Perry Refuses to Establish Health Insurance Exchange, Blocks Medicaid Expansion.
While the Affordable Care Act will still increase the number of insured Texans by between 2 and 2.5 million individuals, the roughly 1.8 million Texans who were eligible per HHSC guidelines to gain coverage through the Medicaid expansion now will not.
This was pretty much expected. The only difference between Perry and the other GOP class warriors, is that Perry’s announcement isn’t as knee-jerk as the others. He’s trying to make it look like he actually took his time.
But as David Atkins points out, maybe most people still don’t believe it will happen, “They refused to believe any politician would do such a thing.”
Robert Draper describes the results of focus groups done a few months by Democratic groups attempting to define Mitt Romney:
Burton and his colleagues spent the early months of 2012 trying out the pitch that Romney was the most far-right presidential candidate since Barry Goldwater. It fell flat. The public did not view Romney as an extremist. For example, when Priorities informed a focus group that Romney supported the Ryan budget plan — and thus championed “ending Medicare as we know it” — while also advocating tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, the respondents simply refused to believe any politician would do such a thing.
That’s really how bad the Ryan budget is: voters don’t believe that real politicians would actually do such a thing. The plan to gut Medicare in order to make room for tax cuts for the rich is egregious and embarrassing that groups like Politifact have to go out of their way to cover for them.
And then there’s Mitt Romney, a vulture capitalist responsible for mass layoffs and outsourcing, who supported the Ryan budget and continues to advocate for tax breaks for millionaires and austerity for everyone else. As Jonathan Chait says:
The basic theme of Romney as a super-rich guy who sees the world through the lens of his own class seems like a powerful and roughly accurate one. The attacks on Romney’s business career fit with the theme. I’m sure there will be more attacks on Romney’s secretive finances — Obama’s campaign keeps dropping the phrase “Swiss bank account” because, I would wager, focus groups find it a little suspicious.
Once they’ve established that frame for voters to understand Romney, then they have set the stage for a closing attack that focuses on the policy contrast. (Or so I have argued.)
One odd thing is that Romney has done so little to insulate himself against this line of attack. George W. Bush framed his entire campaign persona in 2000 so as to protect himself from charges of looking out for the rich — he called himself a compassionate conservative, he falsely claimed his tax cuts disproportionately benefitted the poor, he surrounded himself with cultural symbols of the middle class. Romney is a very rich man running on a platform of helping other rich people and doing almost nothing to deflect the most obvious political attack.
It’s almost as if the Republicans are planting gigantic targets on their backs, standing in the middle of the street and daring Democrats to hit them. It’s such openly flaunted evil that even the most jaded voters refuse to believe it’s actually real.
This has more to do with who would be receiving health care, then it does with the so-called federal strings that are attached. That’s just what Perry and the GOP hide behind when they don’t want to talk about the millions without health insurance in Texas. It’s extremely doubtful that this will be an issue where the , “..Legislature needs to assert itself..”. The only way this will stop is to change our elected officials.
Here’s the statement from the Texas Democratic Party:
Rick Perry’s announcement is both cruel and negligent. No person with a speck of intelligence would turn down billions in federal dollars that would be a boon to our economy and help Texans. But then again this is Rick Perry. Rick Perry could’ve brought billions in federal dollars to Texas, reduced the rate of the uninsured and improved the quality of life for Texans. Rick Perry’s Texas solution is to let Texans stay ill and uninsured. That is not a health care plan. Once again Perry is putting partisan political pandering in front of the interests of Texas.