By Rick Perry
States can’t afford Medicaid expansion, health insurance exchanges.
It’s really far past time for us to call ObamaCare what it truly is: an unprecedented government overreach into every American’s life, forcing higher costs on individuals, practitioners, employers and state governments in lieu of actually fixing our health care system.
The core elements of this plan revolve around forcing individuals to buy health insurance and expecting states to add millions more people to their already-strained Medicaid systems.
Another part of the plan is equally duplicitous: the so-called state insurance exchanges.
Setting aside the obvious fact that health insurance is readily available under current conditions — the problem has been price, not availability — these exchanges represent nothing more than another federal power grab in the guise of a supposedly free market.
States were given the option to set up and execute their own exchanges — at their own expense. The fine print, however, specified that the exchanges would have to follow all rules and guidelines imposed by the federal government, with little to no flexibility. The kicker: Many of these rules and regulations are unknown.
Again, this is par for the course as we continue down the road to fiscal disaster at the hands of ObamaCare.
In Texas, Medicaid spending already accounts for nearly 25% of our general revenue spending, and its costs are only expected to continue skyrocketing.
While the president has promised to subsidize states for Medicaid costs in the near term, in the long term, states are going to be on their own.
ObamaCare has already begun to affect many companies, too, with some publicly announcing plans for layoffs in order to make up for increased insurance-related costs.
We need to concentrate our resources on developing a plan that will provide a safety net for the most vulnerable, while being an effective and efficient use of taxpayer money. The alternative in place — adding more people to an already sinking ship paid for either by borrowing from China or by raiding taxpayers’ pockets — is simply bad policy.
By rejecting the Medicaid expansion, as called for under ObamaCare, as well as state insurance exchanges, some states can buy a little time before a total budgetary collapse. But the longer ObamaCare remains the law of the land, the closer we’re all coming to that grim reality.
Rick Perry, a Republican, is the governor of Texas.