A PROGRESSIVE VOICE FROM THE LLANO ESTACADO

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Rick Perry's Latest "Oops" Moment

Rick Perry's career has been full of blunders, and those "oops" moments go much farther than just in some Republican debates. It extends to the policies he proposes and enforces -- policies that have made Texas the laughing-stock of the nation.

The latest comes with his absolute refusal to go along with the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and extend Medicaid to cover millions of poor Texans. While he has told Texans that he is protecting them from higher insurance prices with this refusal, now evidence is coming out that his ridiculous actions have had exactly the opposite effect.

A recent Kaiser Family Foundation review of insurance premiums of states that have accepted Obamacare (and expanded Medicaid) shows that insurance premiums are dropping in those states. But a RandCorporation report says the rates will Texas will be rising -- by about 9.3%. And they blame this rising of insurance premiums on Texas' refusal to expand Medicaid.

A Dallas Morning News article says this is because some of the poor uninsured will purchase insurance through the federal exchange (set up because the state refused to create an insurance exchange), and since the poor generally have poorer health, that will drive up premiums for everyone. That may be true, but I suspect an even bigger reason is that while those millions will not be covered by Medicaid, many of them will still need health care and they will get it in the hospital emergency rooms -- and since the hospitals cannot afford to give free care and can't legally deny care, they will pass this cost on to other patients and their insurance companies (thus driving up the premiums charged to Texans).

But either way, the primary cause for the rate increase is Perry's absolute refusal to expand Medicaid (even though the cost would be born by the federal government for ten years, and Texas would only pay 10% of the cost after that). So when you get your insurance bill and see it has gone up (whether an employer or an individual), thank Governor Perry for the increased cost. It's his latest "oops" moment, and Texans will have to foot the bill for it.

(The image above of Rick Perry is from mariopiperni.com.)

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