Facing pressure from fellow Republicans in the State Legislature to drop his opposition, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) doubled down Monday in his opposition to expanding Medicaid under President Obama’s healthcare law, even though opposing it could cost his state $90 billion.
At a press conference where he was flanked by other conservatives, Perry argued expanding the health insurance program for the poor would make Texas “hostage” to the federal government.
“It would benefit no one in our state to see their taxes skyrocket and our economy crushed as our budget crumbled under the weight of oppressive Medicaid costs,” Perry said at the state capitol.
One Republican source of opposition to Perry is John Zerwas, in the state house. He is pushing a legislative proposal that would allow the state’s health commission to reach a deal with the Obama administration to expand Medicaid under certain conditions.
Perry’s staunch opposition to the Medicaid expansion stand in sharp contrast to other conservative GOP governors who have chosen to embrace the policy.
Jan Brewer (Ariz.), John Kasich (Ohio) and Rick Scott (Fla.) — all vocal critics of ObamaCare — have heeded calls from hospitals and advocates and chosen to back wider Medicaid eligibility.
*More information on Perry’s Republican opposition can be found here.