Texas Governor Rick Perry said on Monday his state will not implement a Medicaid expansion or health insurance exchange, two provisions of the federal healthcare law upheld last month by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Perry joined fellow Republican governors in states such as Wisconsin, Louisiana and Florida who have said they would say no to the two provisions, with the hope that November elections will result in Republicans winning the White House and enough seats in Congress to repeal the law.
"I will not be party to socializing healthcare and bankrupting my state in direct contradiction to our Constitution and our founding principles of limited government," Perry said in a statement.
He sent a letter on Monday to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking her to relay the message to President Barack Obama that Perry opposes the provisions "because both represent brazen intrusions into the sovereignty of our state."
"I stand proudly with the growing chorus of governors who reject the Obamacare power grab. Neither a 'state' exchange nor the expansion of Medicaid under this program would result in better 'patient protection' or in more 'affordable care,'" said Perry, who dropped out of the Republican presidential race in January. "They would only make Texas a mere appendage of the federal government when it comes to health care."
Texas was one of 26 states that challenged in court the 2010 law known formally as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
If any states resisting the healthcare plan do not create insurance exchanges, the federal government plans to set them up. The exchanges are intended to extend health coverage to an additional 16 million people, while the Medicaid expansion would broaden eligibility requirements to cover another 16 million people.
The Supreme Court said Congress went too far in the part of the law that requires states to expand Medicaid, the federal-state health insurance program for low-income people. The court said that the federal government may not take away Medicaid dollars from states that do not comply with the expansion.