Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Healthcare: Texas Governor's Anti-Agenda

Texas Governor Rick Perry gave his seventh State of the State address to the 83rd Texas Legislature.  Straight from the horse's mouth:

.... My office, in fact, has built a web site to get your feedback on tax cuts.  You can find it at my main site, gov-dot-Texas-dot-gov.

While Washington, D.C., can sometimes seem entirely non-responsive and is increasing the tax burden on Americans, and other states are scrambling to grab every tax dollar they can, I'm proud that in Texas, we're talking about the best way to give money back.

Our approach is even more important as Washington raises taxes and the costs of the Affordable Care Act begin to pile up.

We have made it clear Texas will not expand Medicaid under the ACA, as Chairwoman Kolkhorst can tell you.

We won't set up a state exchange, as Chairwoman Nelson can attest.
Texas will not drive millions more into an unsustainable system, and that stance has not changed an iota.

However, the costs of ACA will still fall on the backs of individuals and employers across the country, and it falls to us on the state level to do what we can to alleviate the federal burden as much as we can.

Time and again, we've seen that when people keep their money, they invest it wisely and selflessly in things important to them.......
Time and time again, Governor Perry and the Texas Legislature have ignored the plight of legions of uninsureds.  Nonprofit, community hospitals, like Shannon Medical Center pay a steep price for this abdication.

Six years ago I wrote an opinion piece lamenting the merger of Shannon and Community Medical Center, then owned by Triad Hospitals.  I would not blame Shannon if it sold out today.  Beleaguered nonprofit, community hospitals do what they must to survive in an exponentially stressful environment.

The San Angelo Chamber of Commerce highlighted Representative Drew Darby's impact on our community in naming him citizen of the year.  Healthcare, one of the area's largest employers, got not one mention.

Let me sum up the healthcare portion of Governor Perry's speech:  "Tax cuts, No to covering more people, Tax cuts.  Send me to Washington in 2016."  I await Representative Darby's position. 

Update 1-30-13:  Perry wants to break into the Rainy Day fund, while the sun shines brightly.  In contrast to the financial debacle two years (when Perry didn't want to touch the fund), Texas' economy is vibrant.  Perry loves corporations, the likely target of $4.7 billion in Rainy Day money for infrastructure and tax breaks.  Watch the money.  The media seems incapable of doing so.

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