The common theme in Rick Perry’s policy proposals, in case you hadn’t noticed, is cutting back federal power and devolving authority to the states. That’s often a bit of a punt, allowing Perry to recommend whatever policy approach he wants, but with the big disclaimer that it’s up to the states to decide what to do.

And so it is with health care, where Perry’s sketchbook-level policy recommendations mostly center on deregulation and leaning on the 10th Amendment:

On Wednesday night, the governor’s camp provided The Texas Tribune with an early sketch of what his health care plan could entail. Perry spokesman Mark Miner said the first thing the governor would do as president is work with Congress to repeal “Obamacare.” Then he would “start over,” first by working to stabilize the country’s economy for employers, then by trying to “free states from federal mandates and empower them to develop innovative solutions.” Finally, he would attempt to lower skyrocketing health care costs “through the proven, market-based strategies of transparency, choice and competition.” Perry wants states to be given flexibility and incentives to foster competition in the insurance market, to design solutions for patients with pre-existing conditions, to lower costs for small businesses and to implement medical malpractice reform, Miner said. …

Still, a look at Perry’s legislative history provides signposts to what some of his specifics could be. In line with the general details released Wednesday, health care policy experts expect a President Perry would seek to allow more local control over the Food and Drug Administration to eliminate what he sees as road blocks preventing medical industries from taking off. And they think he’d shift far more responsibility for running Medicaid — the joint state-federal health insurer that predominantly covers long-term care and poor children — to the states, as evidenced by his requests for more flexibility (and control of the purse strings) from Washington.

Continue reading →