April 23, 2013

Texas Medicaid kabuki clears first hurdle

The House Appropriations Commission, earlier today, passed John Zerwas' HB 3791.

All you need to know about this attempt to put a smiley face on Texas' rejection of Obamacare's Medicaid expansion is this:
Rather than expand Medicaid as directed under the Affordable Care Act, under Zerwas’ proposal, Texas would leverage tax revenue collected from premiums on health care plans to pay for the state’s portion of the program’s costs. It would also allow the state to save money by tailoring Medicaid recipients’ benefits, implementing “personal responsibility” cost-sharing measures such as co-pays and deductibles, and prioritizing premium assistance for private market health plans. ...

The conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation had a strong hand in helping craft the language of the block grant proposal (within the bill), which would request that the state be allowed to implement sliding scale subsidies for Medicaid recipients to purchase private health coverage. Such a block grant would require an OK from the Obama administration, which political observers believe is unlikely.
That said, the TPPF doesn't like the rest of the bill. Original bill language here.

Why? Because it might actually involve spending more money, among other things. Even if it involves corporate socialism (never forget who the real socialists are in America) for private health care.

That said, let's say it passes the whole House. AND the whole Senate. Including with components TPPF doesn't like

What's Tricky Ricky Perry going to do?

This could be one of those rock-and-hard-place issues for him. It could also bear on whether he's running for re-election in 2014, or for Prez again in 2016. Either his signature or veto could bear on his plans, or already gelling plans could bear on either a signature or a veto.

Signing it would give him another chance to thumb his nose at Dear Leader. But, what if not all parts of his potential base like it?

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