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RIP, health exchange bill

Can’t say this is a surprise.

State Rep. John Zerwas, the Simonton Republican who has filed legislation to implement one of the key elements of federal health care reform, said his bill may be permanently stuck.

Zerwas, who proposed establishing a Texas health insurance exchange not because he approves of federal health reform, but because he fears the feds will do it for Texas, said he’s been told Gov. Rick Perry’s office doesn’t support the measure.

“I am absolutely disappointed,” said Zerwas, who is an anesthesiologist. “I believe this is one of the most important things we can do to protect our insurance market, by putting a Texas exchange in place.”

Perry’s office didn’t say whether he’d veto Zerwas’ bill. But a spokeswoman said the governor “strongly opposes the federal healthcare reform bill and the one size fits all mandates that come along with it.”

What Perry really opposes is anything that would help people who lack health insurance get it. He’s done exactly nothing in his first ten years to advance that cause, so why should we expect anything else? The excuses may change, but the underlying ideology remains the same. I respect Rep. Zerwas’ efforts, but if he wants to do this he’s going to need a Democratic Governor, and who knows when that may happen.

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3 Comments

  1. blank says:

    … the one size fits all mandates that come along with it.

    Proving that Rick Perry is clearly unaware (or more likely just lying) that HCR allows states to manage their own markets as long as access and affordability criteria are met. This is appears to be what Zerwas was trying to do, and I applaud him for it.

  2. […] Rep. John Zerwas tried unsuccessfully to pass a bill last year that would have established an exchange in Texas, but it went nowhere as […]

  3. […] there will be no exchange in Texas. This is why some Republican legislators like Rep. John Zerwas tried to pass a bill to create an exchange, so that it would be implemented by Texas instead of the federal government. […]

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