Texas Governor Rick Perry has decided his state will not be taking part in the Affordable Care Act. Most importantly this means Texas will not expand Medicaid to everyone under 138 percent of the poverty line. From the Texas Tribune:
“I stand proudly with the growing chorus of governors who reject the Obamacare power grab,” he said in a statement. “Neither a ‘state’ exchange nor the expansion of Medicaid under this program would result in better ‘patient protection’ or in more ‘affordable care.’ They would only make Texas a mere appendage of the federal government when it comes to health care.”
According to data from Urban Institute this move by Perry could leave roughly 1.3 million Americans without access to health insurance. That is how many people who live in Texas without health insurance that make less than 100 percent of FPL. They are too poor to be eligible for the exchange subsides, which would be available to those above 100 percent of FPL, but now won’t get access to Medicaid.
Texas is the state with the second largest number of people, just behind California, who would be eligible for Medicaid.
Now that the Supreme Court has made the Medicaid expansion in the Affordable Care Act optional, more and more red state governors are announcing they will not take part. Texas is just the latest and largest state to follow the example set by Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R). If all these Republican governors follow through with their promises, the ACA is going to end up covering several millions less than it was designed to cover.
The decision by President Obama and Congressional Democrats to base the Affordable Care Act on the existing federal-state partnerships instead of creating a direct federal program is turning into a huge policy disaster, thanks to the Supreme Court and opposition from Republican controlled states.