In a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Texas Gov. Rick Perry confirmed his state has no intention of implementing an insurance exchange or expanding Medicaid, despite the reelection of President Obama.
Echoing an earlier letter written in July, in his November letter Perry, a Republican, noted any state exchange must be approved by the Obama administration and operate under specific federally mandated rules, many of which have yet to be established.
“In its current form under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and through the yet undisclosed rules set forth by [the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services], the exchange presents an unknown cost to Texas taxpayers. It would not be fiscally responsible to put hard-working Texans on the financial hook for an unknown amount of money to operate a system under rules that have not even been written,” Perry wrote.
No State Exchange
Devon Herrick, a senior fellow of the National Center for Policy Analysis in Dallas, Texas, said Perry is right to oppose creation of a state-run health insurance exchange.
“Other state officials worry Texas will lose the ability to regulate health insurance within their borders and be straightjacketed with an exchange that does not meet the needs of Texans,” said Herrick.
John Davidson, a health care policy analyst in the Center for Health Care Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), said he is pleased Texas returned the initial grant money to fund the implementation of the state’s health care exchange.
“The exchanges are another way the federal government is eroding state sovereignty and taking over state programs. A state exchange is a name by the federal government to strong-arm state governments to fund a federal program,” said Davidson.
In his letter, Perry agreed.
“It is clear there is no such thing as a state exchange. Instead, this is a federally mandated exchange with rules dictated by Washington. As long as the federal government has the ability to force