Among the unhappiest of unhappy campers in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Obamacare ruling are many Republican governors, who regard the law’s insurance exchange and other provisions as “hijacking” the Constitutional principles of federalism. Among the resisters are Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, Wisconsin's Scott Walker and likely several others. Add Texas Gov. Rick Perry to the list, as seen in the letter he just sent to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, posted below. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder says creating a state exchange is preferable to having the federal government intervene.
The State of Texas
Office of the Governor
July 9, 2012
The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 2020I
Dear Secretary Sebelius:
In the ObamaCare plan, the federal government sought to force the states to expand their Medicaid programs by — in the words of the Supreme Court — putting a gun to their heads. Now that the "gun to the head" has been removed, please relay this message to the President: I oppose both the expansion of Medicaid as provided in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the creation of a so-called "state" insurance exchange, because both represent brazen intrusions into the sovereignty of our state.
I stand proudly with the growing chorus of governors who reject the PPACA power grab. Thank God and our nation's founders that we have the right to do so.
Neither a "state" exchange nor the expansion of Medicaid under the Orwellian-named PPACA would result in better "patient protection" or in more "affordable care." What they would do is make Texas a mere appendage of the federal government when it comes to health care.
The PPACA does not truly allow states to create and operate their own exchanges. Instead, it gives the federal government the final say as to which insurance plans can operate in a so-called "state" exchange, what benefits those plans must provide, and what price controls and cost limits will apply. It leaves many questions to be answered later through federal "future rulemaking." In short, it essentially treats the states like subcontractors through which the federal government can control the insurance markets and pursue federal priorities rather than those of the individual states.
Through its proposed expansion of Medicaid, the PPACA would simply enlarge a broken system that is already financially unsustainable. Medicaid is a system of inflexible mandates, one-size fits-all requirements, and wasteful, bureaucratic inefficiencies. Expanding it as the PPACA provides would only exacerbate the failure of the current system, and would threaten even Texas with financial ruin.
I look forward to implementing health care solutions that are right for the people of Texas. I urge you to support me in that effort. In the meantime, the PPACA's unsound encroachments will find no foothold here.
cc: The Honorable David Dewhurst
The Honorable Joe Straus