Texas Rejecting ObamaCare

Texas Gov. Rick Perry says he isn’t going to allow key elements of ObamaCare to take effect in the Lone Star State. The 2009 law required states to implement “health insurance exchanges” and expand Medicaid, but the US Supreme Court struck down those mandates two weeks ago.

In a statement issued early today, Gov. Perry said “we in Texas have no intention to implement so-called state exchanges or to expand Medicaid under Obamacare.”

Rick Perry

The two mandates were expected to cost the state tens of billions of dollars in new, unfunded expenses. The governor is expected to officially inform the Obama Administration of the state’s plans later today in a letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Service.

Medicaid is a federal mandated, state-administered program that drives health care spending and costs. Health and human services spending takes up a third of the state’s All-Funds budget.

By taking ObamaCare expansion off the table, that relieves some pressure on the state budget. This is good news for taxpayers, already eyeing a 2013 legislative session that sees moderates lawmakers looking for new taxes and revenues. San Angelo’s Drew Darby is toying with hiking vehicle registrations by as much as $50 a year and has noted the gasoline tax hasn’t gone up since 1991. (The talking-point about the gas-tax history has often been cited by those looking to raise it.) Meanwhile, House Speaker Joe Straus has more generally said he wants to find new revenues rather than cut spending.

Several states – including among others South Carolina, Missouri, Florida and Iowa – have also announced they won’t participate in ObamaCare’s expansion.

UPDATE/CORRECTION: This fixes an error regarding Mr. Darby’s stance on funding transportation.