As over two million Americans were flocking to explore and register through the new health care marketplaces created under the Affordable Care Act, Texas governor Rick Perry (R) condemned the implementation of the law, calling it a “felony.”
During a campaign stop for New Jersey Senate candidate Steve Lonegan (R-NJ) on Tuesday, the governor warned that “if this health care law is forced upon this country, the young men and women in this audience are the ones who are really going to pay the price.”
He added that the implementation of Obamacare was a “criminal act.”
Although Perry has long been a staunch opponent of the new health care reform, his state claims the highest rate of uninsured people in the country, approximately 6 million people. Even after the governor rejected the expansion of Medicaid in Texas through Obamacare, it was his own health aides who met with the Obama administration in August as they sought an estimated $100 million from the new health care law — to care for the elderly and disabled through a program called Community First Choice.
Back in August, the public policy director at the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities, Jessica Ramos, estimated that an “approximately 12,000 Texans with intellectual and developmental disabilities” would be able to receive “some of the basic supports they very much need” under the Obamacare-funded program.
Texas also has the highest rate of uninsured adults making below 138 percent of the federal poverty threshold, at 55 percent. These adults could have qualified for Medicaid coverage if the state had expanded the eligibility requirements under the Affordable Care Act.
However, because the governor refused to set up the state’s new health care marketplace, it is now administered by the federal government.
According to a United Way call center in Austin, Texas, over 180 Texans had called by 11 am on Tuesday looking to get health insurance.
Photo: Gage Skidmore via Flickr.com