Rick Perry could turn Texas blue
Posted 3/22/2013 3:06:00 PM

AUSTIN, Texas—Big in all things, Texas leads the nation in failing to provide health insurance. About one in four Texans are uninsured, the highest percentage in any state. That’s some 6 million people, the total population of Missouri.

Yet Gov. Rick Perry, back from his stumbles in the 2012 GOP presidential race, has insisted that Texas will not accept the federal money provided by President Obama’s health care law to expand Medicaid coverage. As Republican governors from Arizona to New Jersey have joined the program, Perry has amplified his opposition. In a bristling speech to conservatives last week, he said governors who accepted the money had “folded in the face of federal bribery.”

In no state does the decision to expand present such profound political and policy issues as in Texas. Whatever Perry decides, many Texans will benefit from the subsidies in the 2010 law that help the uninsured in lower-to-middle-income families purchase private insurance on health care exchanges. Perry has also refused to establish such an exchange, but the law allows Washington to step in, and Texans who qualify will receive those dollars. Rice University demographers Steve Murdock and Michael Cline recently projected those exchanges will cover up to 1.7 million of the state’s uninsured.

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Posted By: Producer Thomas  

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