In all the discussions about the Texas budget, the probable shortfall projected by the comptroller, and what on earth state legislators intend to do about it, no one has really brought up the impending impact on state spending stemming from the Obamacare legislation. We know that Texas’ Medicaid expenditures will expand by as much as $24 billion in the next four years, for instance. Insurers are projecting premium increases of as much as 25%, and that will affect state employees’ premiums (and the taxpayer-funded portion). The impact on small businesses and job growth is going to be substantial, and Texas is already falling behind in private-sector job growth. And all of this is just for starters.
We are facing not just one, but probably several legislative budget cycles in which tough decisions will have to be made to make up for the federal government’s intrusion, as well as economic reality in Texas. The danger comes now from the leftists credited with influencing the Texas legislature far more than their minority status should have let them. With just 40 days left until the election, Texans have serious choices to make. The opportunity is there to stand up against federal health care mandates, but where will the backbone to do so come from?
Some Democratic legislators have made their positions known – a letter, signed by thirty-five Texas Democratic senators and representatives, was sent to Washington in 2009. Just because a name isn’t on that list, doesn’t mean there aren’t many more Democrats in the Texas House and Senate who are fully supportive of the president’s obscene power grab.
One can only assume that Democratic incumbents like Mark Strama, who have credible challengers and who wish to pretend otherwise, shied away from the letter because of the possible political backlash. Why, then, would Strama (as an example) continue to tout his full-throated support for the Democratic agenda? Why not take down reminders that they backed Obama?
The letter is not the whole story. The truth of the matter is, Democrats like Mark Strama count on hoodwinking select moderates and independents (and yes, even Republicans!) in order to continue working as “stealth” agents for the liberal agenda in the Texas legislature.
Voters deserve to know whether their elected officials support Obama’s health care mandates. With $18 billion to make up for in the coming biennium, and a financial burden looming for future cycles, it is important to know who is for the taxpayer and the business owner, and who is for federal control and financial ruin.