It was only a few weeks ago that the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act, and Monday, Governor Perry sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius explaining his reasoning. Governor Perry said in the statement "I will not be party to socializing health care and bankrupting my state."
"No one should have questioned whether or not Texas was going to participate in these exchanges or if we were going to expand medicaid," said Governor Rick Perry. Here's what that means: Not expanding medicaid limits the number of people covered by the program. Texas opting out of the exchange benefits means the federal government has the option of stepping in to create a program to give discounted benefits.
Texas joins less than 10 other states who are choosing to opt out, including Florida, South Carolina, Wisconsin, Louisiana, and Mississippi. For the 1.3 million Texans below the poverty line, this decision means they may not be covered by any insurance.
UMC provides for almost 70 million dollars in unfunded care. UMC Director of Marketing Eric Finley says Governor Perry's decision gives UMC a new obstacle. "The cost of unfunded care in Lubbock co continues to rise, that's going to be a financial challenge for UMC, but we've been working on some programs, some issues to make that more palatable for the hospital," said Finley.
State Representative Charles Perry agrees with Governor Perry that expanding Medicaid would only cost Texas more money. "We can't afford it," said Representative Perry, "We're going to make the Texas Medicaid system work better for Texas and I think this is an opportunity to do that."
For public hospitals like UMC, opting out of both means more people without coverage. "It's a challenge to hospitals like umc who provide care for people who don't have forms of insurance, so the patients we thought were going to have insurance now wont have it," said Finley.
Under the Affordable Care Act, for Medicaid, states will receive 100% federal funding for the first 3 years, starting in January 2014. After that, federal funding will drop to 90%, meaning states would have to make up the other 10% of funding needed.