Governor Rick Perry is straddling the fence on President Barack Obama’s health care reform plan.
On the one hand, he criticized it, calling the so-called opt out provision for states “classic Washington bait and switch,” because citizens would still have to pay for it. On the other hand, Perry said he’s unsure whether Texas will reject the plan.
“Until we see more clearly what Washington’s plan is relative to this,” he told the Houston Chronicle, “our options are open.”
Under Obama’s reform plan, millions of uninsured Americans would receive coverage under Medicaid. USA Today reported that Medicaid and the State Children’s Insurance Program (SCHIP) would expand to cover over 60 million Americans in 2019, an increase of 10 million. As expected, such an expansion would burden states already dealing with budget constraints, as well as increase pressure on primary care physicians.
Texas is considering expanding SCHIP to add 768,000 children and Medicaid to add 1.5 million adults over the next 10 years. To pay for such a massive overhaul, states will have to come up with more money. What would the fundraising look like? Higher taxes for citizens and lower payment rates for providers, for a start.