Since the introduction of the Affordable Care Act, Governor Rick Perry (R-TX) has been an unremitting critic of the president’s signature policy. But as his time in office nears its end, he is now negotiating with the Obama administration for $100 million in Obamacare funds for the state of Texas.
The Community First Choice clause, an elective component of the Affordable Care Act, “provides states choosing to participate in this option a six percentage point increase in federal Medicaid matching funds for providing community-based attendant service and support to beneficiaries who would otherwise be confined to a nursing home or other institution.”
Community First Choice would assist roughly 12,000 Texans, most of whom are elderly or disabled, and was approved by the Texas legislature and signed into law this year.
According to The Huffington Post, Texas has the “highest rate of uninsured in the country, at 25 percent or 6.2 million people.” The report goes on, “It also has the worst health care services and delivery in the nation according to the federal Agency for Health Care Research and Quality.” Given these dismal statistics, Texas would undoubtedly benefit from receiving subsidies from the federal government to aid the state’s failing health care system.
Yet Governor Perry has repeatedly insisted that Texas would resist implementing Obamacare. In a 2012 interview with Fox News, Perry declared, “If anyone was in doubt, we in Texas have no intention to implement so-called state exchanges or to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, I will not be party to socializing healthcare and bankrupting my state in direct contradiction to our Constitution and our founding principles of limited government.”
According to Perry’s spokeswoman Allison Castle, Perry’s position has not changed. “The bottom line is it has nothing to do with Obamacare.” Castle said on Tuesday, “There are no ‘talks’ or ‘negotiations.’”
This contradicts a statement made by a spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, who told Politico on Tuesday, “Efforts are under way to develop and submit an application to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for participation.”