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Rick Perry doesn’t want people to get health insurance

There’s really no other viable explanation.

It's constitutional - deal with it

It’s constitutional – deal with it

On a White House conference call on Monday, Texas Democrats criticized Gov. Rick Perry and other Republican state leaders for “getting in the way” of implementing federal health care reform.

During the call, which was organized by the White House to tout the impact of the Affordable Care Act in Texas, state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, and Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins accused state leadership of creating obstacles to keep Texans from obtaining health insurance, as required by the health care law, also known as Obamacare. The two Democrats cited Texas’ decision not to expand Medicaid, the lack of a state-based insurance marketplace and proposed additional rules for federal navigators.

Martinez Fischer called Texas the “poster child” for the uninsured, adding that the state’s rate of residents without health insurance — the highest in the nation at about 25 percent — had received “no relief from state leadership.”

“I wish we would use our energy and momentum in Texas with our statewide elected officials to actually embrace and work cooperatively with the administration to expand ACA opportunities in Texas rather than the trail of roadblocks,” Martinez Fischer said.

Jenkins questioned Perry’s request for additional regulations on federal navigators, who are charged with helping individuals sign up for health insurance.

“If they won’t help citizens gain access to coverage, they ought to stand down and stay out of the way for those of us who are willing to work to do the job for Texas,” Jenkins said.

Perry first requested the rules in September, citing consumer privacy concerns. Other Republican state leaders, including Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and Attorney General Greg Abbott, followed suit.

Perry spokeswoman Lucy Nashed called the conference call an attempt to distract from the Affordable Care Act’s “continued failures.” She cited the technical problems of the federal online insurance marketplace, concerns surrounding the training of navigators and delayed enrollment deadlines.

“Texas families and businesses don’t need more empty rhetoric from the Obama administration to know that Obamacare is a failure,” Nashed said.

It takes a certain level of sociopathy to say something like that when you are the Governor of the state with by far the highest number of uninsured people, and you’ve been Governor for thirteen years without doing a single thing about it. Except for all the things you’ve done to deny health insurance to people, such as the CHIP cuts and our famously stingy Medicaid eligibility requirements and onerous enrollment processes. Hey, remember when we spent a couple hundred million dollars outsourcing our Health and Human Services Commission and gave the money to a private firm that didn’t know its ass from a pencil eraser? Those were the days, my friend.

The antipathy towards health insurance comes through in everything Rick Perry – and David Dewhurst and Greg Abbott and the rest of the sorry lot – does, from imposing needless burdens on navigators to refusing to expand Medicaid to refusing to implement an exchange, and on and on. If there were some honest ongoing effort over the past decade-plus to do something about the millions of uninsured in Texas, that would be one thing. But the record, and the inactivity, speak for themselves. There’s really no other way to characterize it. Millions of people have become insured around the country, but all we get here is rage and denial.

Oh, and bad journalism, no doubt influenced by the lying and obfuscation. Do make sure you click those two links and read the stories, which have now coaxed an apology for the half-assed job they did from the Star-Telegram. Senators Sylvia Garcia and Rodney Ellis have more.

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3 Comments

  1. I have to wonder why they’re doing all this. They can’t really want people to suffer and die, can they? Is it some ideology about the proper role of government? I don’t recall them opposing Medicare or the VA. I wouldn’t say that they’re doing the bidding of the physicians or insurers; many of them are on board with the ACA. My best guess is that they’re simply pandering to their base, who think it’s some zero-sum equation; if those ‘others’ get health coverage I might lose mine. Is there really that much to gain by fear-mongering in this state? Historical Texans were sturdy folk threatened by Mexican lancers and preyed upon by Commanches. Now we’re a bunch of weenies?

  2. Linkmeister says:

    “They can’t really want people to suffer and die, can they? Is it some ideology about the proper role of government?”

    1. Perry et. al. think none of those people have anything to offer the party in power, so why bother with them or their needs? It’s not that they actively want them to “suffer and die” as much as they’re indifferent to them.

    2. A large part of it is that. Another part is a general dislike of Democrats. A third part is the guy in the White House; he’s a Democrat and to certain Republicans no Democrat belongs in there at all, ever.

  3. Doris Murdock says:

    The proposed restrictions seem to me to be another move by Republicans to restrict access to services and rights. Witness the gradual chipping away at abortions rights and voting rights; now it’s rights to medical information. We live in a state, perhaps in a nation, where imprisonment eventually will be called freedom.

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