Gov. Perry, Sen. Cornyn, Sen. Cruz: Texas Stands Firm Against Medicaid Expansion
AUSTIN, April 2, 213 - Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. John Cornyn and Sen. Ted Cruz held a roundtable followed by a press conference to discuss the flexibility needed by states to enact meaningful reforms to the existing, broken Medicaid program. They were joined by Congressmen Joe Barton and Michael C. Burgess, M.D., Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, State Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, Texas Health and Human Services Commissioner Kyle Janek, as well as the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF). Several Texas lawmakers and groups also joined in support of reforming the current Medicaid system and providing flexibility.
"Medicaid expansion is a misguided, and ultimately doomed, attempt to mask the shortcomings of Obamacare. It would benefit no one in our state to see their taxes skyrocket and our economy crushed as our budget crumbled under the weight of oppressive Medicaid costs," Gov. Perry said. "Texas doesn't need another mandate, but the flexibility to care for our own in a manner that makes sense both effectively and financially."
Gov. Perry sent a letter to and met with the Texas Congressional Delegation last month to ask for their help in securing flexible federal funding that would allow the state to implement reforms to the existing Medicaid program, which already consumes a quarter of Texas' budget. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission projects Medicaid expansion alone would cost tens of billions in combined state and federal funds over the next 10 years.
"Medicaid is a broken system that is failing Texans and overwhelming the state budget. The program must be fundamentally reformed, and Texas - not the federal government - is best suited to design a health care program for its poorest and most vulnerable residents," Sen. Cornyn said. "The time has come for Congress to allow the states to do just that, with a block grant of federal Medicaid funds."
From 1990 to 2010, national Medicaid expenditures rose from $73.7 billion to $401.4 billion, an increase of about 445 percent. Over that same period, the national Medicaid caseload increased by 135 percent, from 22.8 million to 53.6 million individuals. Only three in 10 Texas doctors are currently accepting new Medicaid patients.
"I am proud that Gov. Perry and other Texas leaders are standing strong to oppose Medicaid expansion under Obamacare, while so many other states are giving in," Sen. Cruz said. "The Supreme Court made clear that the Constitution does not allow the federal government to force states to expand Medicaid, and doing so would impose crippling pressures on the Texas budget for decades to come -- pressures that would crowd out other vital state priorities like public education, infrastructure, and law enforcement. In the long term, we need fundamental reform of Medicaid, so that it can truly help the most vulnerable among us. Texas knows best how to care for Texans, and Medicaid should allow States the flexibility to design healthcare programs to help those most in need."
Statements by members of Congress, Texas leaders and groups standing in opposition of Medicaid expansion and in support of Medicaid reform:
Congressman Joe Barton:
Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D.:
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst:
Rep. Lois Kolkhorst:
Brooke Rollins, TPPF:
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