Press Release: Rep. Hughes - Texas Should Not Implement Federal Health Care Law
JULY 11, 2012
Rep. Bryan Hughes: Texas Should Not Implement
Harmful Federal Healthcare Law
AUSTIN - Representative Bryan Hughes (R-Mineola) released the following statement regarding implementation of the federal health care law in Texas:
I am encouraged that Governor Perry and a growing list of Governors are taking a firm stand against Washington's health care intrusion. In America we still have a constitutional system of dual sovereignty, and that means the national government can't force the states to comply with its every whim.
The health care law tries to bully states into setting up health care exchanges. Texas should refuse. Washington says it will set up an exchange for us if we don't, but we know from the experience of other states that D.C. will have control of any exchange set up under the health care law - whether we set it up or they do. So there is really no advantage to Texas establishing a health care exchange. And if enough states refuse to set up exchanges, the federal government could have a very difficult time doing it on its own. We should not help them implement this law, which we so strongly oppose.
The law also attempts to make us dramatically expand the Medicaid program. Thankfully, even the Supreme Court's ruling (flawed as it was) acknowledged that the national government cannot compel the states to expand their Medicaid rolls. Medicaid is a horribly broken system. Patients don't want to be in it, fewer and fewer doctors will accept it, and the costs are increasing astronomically (nationwide approaching $500 billion annually). Forcing millions more Texans into this system would be wrong.
By boldly saying no to the exchanges and no to expanded Medicaid, Texas and other states can force Washington to consider real health care reform. There are free market solutions that will bring down the cost of health care and expand access. And as for Medicaid, the national government should give the states their Medicaid funding in the form of block grants, so that each state can come up with the best solution for its unique population. We did this in the 1990's with welfare reform, and the results exceeded everyone's expectations: better outcomes for folks receiving benefits and dramatically lower costs for the taxpayers.
I am optimistic that November will give us a new President and a new Congress that will repeal this misnamed Affordable Care Act. But we don't have to wait until then to decide what Texas should do.
Texans have always stood for liberty and for personal responsibility, and once again we are called on to lead the way. By drawing this line we can help to reestablish limited constitutional government, and move our country toward a true reform for our health care system.