A Republican running for the Texas House has tried feverishly to deny he pushed for ObamaCare while serving on the board of a public hospital. Yet documents released late Friday reveal Scott Fisher not only parroted Obama Administration talking points but actively solicited Texas lawmakers to expand Medicaid.

Earlier this week, Texas Scorecard revealed that Scott Fisher, the liberal bureaucrat who is running a nasty campaign against taxpayer champion Jonathan Stickland, of Bedford, had advocated for Texas to be pulled into ObamaCare’s disastrous Medicaid scheme.

Meeting minutes revealed that while Fisher was serving as “Past Board Chair” of Tarrant County’s taxpayer-funded hospital, JPS Health Network, he advocated for the state to be pulled into ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion scheme.

Scott Fisher Supported ObamaCare

After the story broke, Fisher and his campaign consultant became very defensive, making bold claims that the meeting minutes didn’t mean what they said. To hear them tell the story, Fisher had boldly reversed the resolution so that it attacked Obamacare, despite the fact the minutes made very clear the hospital was still saying “gimme, gimme, gimme!” to taxpayers.

Bold claims. But if they were true, why wasn’t Fisher’s campaign posting a copy of the resolution itself?

After Fisher’s response, Texas Scorecard worked to hunt down a copy of the alleged second “anti-ObamaCare” resolution.

The great irony is that it is Scott Fisher’s fault that it was so difficult to verify the truth of his claims. As a former Chairman of the Board of JPS, Fisher failed to implement even basic transparency measures when he was at the helm of the hospital. To this day, JPS still refuses to record its meetings, and so it is impossible to verify what exactly took place at the April 11, 2013 meeting.

But there are the documents, and they are very clear. No matter what words were used in the resolution Fisher passed, they were still begging taxpayers for more money. And they came under the headline “Resolution … Supporting Medicaid Expansion for Texas.”

After days of searching, an answer finally arrived. On Friday afternoon, JPS administrators released the final resolution.

No surprise, but it proves Fisher’s protests to be dishonest.

The board did indeed drop the words “Medicaid expansion” from the title of the resolution, replacing that phrase with “adequate compensation for uninsured patients.” What did that mean? More money from the state for hospitals at a time when the only option being debated was expanding Medicaid under ObamaCare.

So did the “revised” resolution attack ObamaCare, as Fisher claims? Hardly. The resolution continued to put forward the ObamaCare Medicaid expansion as its only policy proposal. The first line of the “revised” resolution:

“The Affordable Care Act would add more than a million adult Texans living near or below the poverty line to Medicaid Coverage ….”

(ObamaCare’s official title was, in Orwellian fashion, the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”)

Contrary to the version that exists in Fisher’s alternative campaign reality, there was no attack on ObamaCare or condemnation of the noxious program. Instead, the resolution spends three clauses blaming rising premiums on “uncompensated care for the uninsured.”

The resolution closes with the JPS Board asking the Legislature to “seek all possible options to adequately fund uncompensated and uninsured care for indigent Texans that is feasible and sustainable.”

Now, a conservative would be quick to note that ObamaCare is neither “feasible” nor “sustainable.” Yet Scott Fisher’s resolution proposes one – and only one – solution to the problems of which it complains:

“The Affordable Care Act would add more than a million adult Texans living near or below the poverty line to Medicaid Coverage.”

To fully understand the resolution, it’s helpful to understand how hospitals receive compensation. Typically a public hospital — like JPS — is paid by its patients’ insurance providers. But when an uninsured person shows up at the emergency room, laws require the hospital to provide basic levels of care for free. That care is referred to as “uncompensated.” But when that uninsured person receives coverage under Medicaid, the hospital receives a payment from the state for having given the covered person healthcare.

So let’s break the resolution down to its parts.

  • It calls for “adequate compensation” from the state. It complains that too many Texans are uninsured or underinsured.
  • It argues that problem is causing insurance premiums to go up. It calls on the legislature to explore “all possible options” to increase compensation to the hospitals for uncompensated care.
  • And it identifies one “solution” — Medicaid expansion under ObamaCare.

That “solution” was no solution at all. Medicaid expansion would have cost Texans an additional $87 billion over the next decade – a poison pill which would have blown up the state budget and paved the way for future tax increases.

From his reaction, it seems clear that Scott Fisher and his campaign team agree that his support for ObamaCare disqualifies him from being elected to office as a Republican. And so they make up false claims trying to deny the reality of what took place.

Scott Fisher sponsored an official governmental body’s resolution calling for Texas to accept strings-attached Medicaid expansion under ObamaCare. And no amount of deception by his campaign will change that simple fact.

Tony McDonald

Tony McDonald serves as General Counsel to Texas Scorecard. A licensed and practicing attorney, Tony specializes in the areas of civil litigation, legislative lawyering, and non-profit regulatory compliance. Tony resides in Austin with his wife and daughter and attends St. Paul Lutheran Church.