Gov. Rick Perry Interview on Obamacare
Avik Roy, a writer for Forbes, recently interviewed Governor Rick Perry about Obamacare. An excerpt:
ROY: One thing that you did, and you looked into with the Texas legislature a few years back, was withdrawing from Medicaid all together. And you decided not to, because the amount of federal money that was being plowed into the state, getting rid of that and then trying to make up with that by raising taxes at the state level was just too great.
GOV. PERRY: Right.
ROY: Do you worry that something similar will happen with Obamacare that now, today, you can say, “Well, we’re not going to implement Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, the exchanges, and what not,” but eventually, whether it’s you or some future governor, they’ll have no choice because all that Texas federal tax money is going to other states instead of coming back to Texas?
GOV. PERRY: Yeah. Well certainly, we took a look at it. And I think, you know, leadership is about asking a lot of difficult questions. You may find the answer isn’t something that’s acceptable or wasn’t what you thought it was going to be, or is not in the best interest of your citizens. But, you know, asking the question [is important].
And, you know, we took a serious look at it. And we send a lot of money to Washington, D.C. But here’s the bigger issue for me as a citizen of the United States is that the program is there, putting it forward. I mean this isn’t free money. It’s our money. And we’re either going to print money and devalue the dollars that are in your pocket, or we’re going to borrow that money from China, on a program that we know is not sustainable.
And I hope governors and legislators and citizens across this country will stand firm and say, “What are we doing? Why are we continuing to dig this hole, to further put our country in debt and future generations in debt?” And hopefully that in the future there will be a deconstruction of this piece of legislation and put things into place that actually work: Block granting, you know, moving policies across borders and allowing insurance to be purchased in other states.
In related news, Texas must pass an emergency funding bill to cover a budget shortfall from 2011 before expanding Medicaid. According to the news story, Medicaid could end in Texas in March.