Republican members of the Texas House will meet Monday afternoon to consider Medicaid expansion. Will they join northeastern moderates in caving to this backdoor ObamaCare vehicle, or will they stand strong for Texas? Texans need to make their voices heard this weekend.
The chairman of the House Republican caucus, State Rep. Brandon Creighton, issued a notice to members this morning that they will meet at 1 p.m. on Monday to “consider taking an official Caucus position” on Medicaid expansion.
Presenting on the issue will be State Rep. Lois Kolkhorst of Brenham and State Rep. John Zerwas of Richmond. Rep. Kolkhorst, who chairs the Public Health Committee, and Rep. Zerwas, a physician, have previously spoken against Medicaid expansion in public statements.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has taken a strong position against expanding Medicaid, saying it would do long-term damage to the state.
In recent weeks, several states led by Republicans have caved on Medicaid expansion – including New Jersey and Florida. They are jumping at the chance “free” money being offered by Washington, even while knowing the dollars will dry up soon and leave their citizens on the hook for billions in higher taxes and reduced health care options.
Putting pressure on legislators are the usual band of liberals and rent-seekers, as well as county hospitals and other entities hoping to game the fraud-ridden Medicaid system.
Expanding Medicaid won’t reduce the “uninsured” population in any significant way, and certainly won’t make Texans any healthier.
Medicaid expansion would, however, make Texas taxpayers a lot poorer. According to the Texas Public Policy Foundation, in the 2014-2015 state budget Medicaid is projected to be “30% of the budget, up from 14% in 2001.”
The Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute describes Medicaid expansion as “short-sighted and irresponsible… For Texas to expand its Medicaid program would be to accept the Obama Administration’s assumption about entitlements and social welfare, that expanded government is the answer to the problems facing the nation.”
State Sen. Tommy Williams (R-The Woodlands), who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, wrote a commentary in the Austin American Statesman opposing expansion of the Medicaid system, which he described as “neither rational nor efficient.”
Taxpayers need to sound off this weekend, letting their legislators know that Medicaid expansion is a bad deal for Texans.
UPDATE (3/4/2013): Texas’ State Republican Executive Committee and the Young Republicans both passed resolutions this weekend opposing Medicaid expansion.