Perry’s health care policy: “Screw you. No.”

The folks busy parsing every little detail of health care reform utterances in Texas are closely studying every single tree, while the forest burns down unnoticed.

A duly-elected United States Congress passed the health care reform bill. A duly-elected President of the United States signed it into law. A Constitutionally appointed United States Supreme Court has now said the measure is constitutional. Haven’t we all heard Governor Perry touting various parts of the Constitution as being his guiding light? Yeah, apparently that crap ain’t in this week’s talking points.

But now Perry says he’ll drag up on every aspect of health care reform he still has some measure of control over. Ignoring for a moment that it’s not Perry’s decision to make, but the state legislature’s, he says he won’t authorize the health exchange (leaving it to the Federal Government he claims to so detest – except, what happened to that “Texans can run Texas better” message?), and he won’t expand Medicaid to account for the countless Texans who will fall through the health care hole if he doesn’t.

I’m tempted to break with my fellow Democrats on Perry’s position on the exchange, but that’s mainly because a health care exchange Perry’s in charge of is liable to end up being a cluster-eff. I’m not sure the Feds will do much better, but they’d certainly do better than somebody who hates the program he’s implementing.

But on Medicaid expansion, it’s pure politics, driven by Perry’s irrational level of hatred of the President. If Texas fails to expand Medicaid, the taxes Texans already paid will go to another state’s health care needs. If Texas fails to expand Medicaid, hospitals will (correctly) scream bloody murder, since Perry will in effect be signing their financial death warrants. And if Texas fails to expand Medicaid, countless Texans will continue to not have affordable health care. To hear Perry talk, Medicaid expansion will bust the state budget. Could somebody please make the man settle down long enough to inform him that for the first few years of expansion, the Feds are paying for ALL of it, and after that, the Feds are paying 90 cents on the dollar of it?

Oh yeah, and remember the point of all this – people having access to health care, so that when they’re sick, they can get the care they need without either dying or going bankrupt? Somehow that’s been lost in the debate. It is, after all, about people. Non-corporation people, which is probably why Rick Perry forgot about ’em. And Texas is, after all, the state with the highest percentage of people without health insurance coverage in the nation. And a new study says the quality of the care people get is the worst in the nation.

So, just to review: Texans not only have the least health care, they also have the worst health care, and Governor Perry’s health care plan is to just say no. That might score him political points with the lunatic fringe overwhelming Republican primary elections these days, but it doesn’t do anything to keep people alive, keep people healthy, and keep those peoples’ families from going bankrupt because Uncle Bubba got a cyst.

But Rick Perry hasn’t mentioned much about keeping people alive and healthy, has he?



4 Responses to Perry’s health care policy: “Screw you. No.”

  1. whiskeydent July 11, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    I’m glad they already cured polio. Otherwise, this idiot would turn down the serum because it came from the feds.

    I’m sick and tired of his precious principles, which are nothing more than a masquerade for dim-witted politics. Perry is taking dumb to a new depth.

  2. Andy Hall July 11, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

    So much of this is right on target that I hate to ask, but I’d appreciate it if you could expand a little on one specific point. You write:

    If Texas fails to expand Medicaid, hospitals will (correctly) scream bloody murder, since Perry will in effect be signing their financial death warrants.

    I agree with this, but lookit: Perry is nothing if not beholden to corporate interests and well-heeled donors. And health care is as big an industry here as anywhere. And we’ve got some world leaders in patient care (think M. D. Anderson in Houston). And we’ve got strong medical and health research going on, with lots of entrepreneurial start-ups. And. . . well, you get the idea. So how long can Perry and the Lege stand up to the pressure they will inevitably exert for Texas to go all-in on the ACA?

    Hell, it’s not like his neo-secessionist, Teahadist principles ever stood in the way of Rick Perry doing exactly what was in the most immediate interests of Rick Perry, right?

  3. Harold Cook July 11, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

    Andy, that is the billion dollar question. In fact it’s probably more like a multi-billion dollar question. Politically I would guess that the Governor feels like he’s walking a tightrope against his grass roots, which gets a stiffy every time Perry insults the President – and the saner business interests, who know that a Medicaid expansion, and its associated money, is great for the economy. Which will win out, and when, is something nobody knows, including perhaps Rick Perry. Meanwhile, the needs of the actual human beings central to this once again play no part in that equation. That’s the saddest part.

  4. Andy Hall July 11, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

    Thanks for a prompt response!

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