A recent trip to Texas by U.S. Health and Human Services Commissioner Kathleen Sebelius has prompted proponents of ObamaCare to beat a dead horse regarding Medicaid expansion. Remember, the Legislature issued a resounding “NO!” to the Obama Administration this session… but only after trying to quietly say yes.
Still, Secretary Sebelius (and the Obama Administration in general) still doesn’t seem to get the hint: Texans aren’t interested in ObamaCare. Nor are they interested in swallowing the poison pill she and the administration is offering to Texas in the form of expanding Medicaid. (As if there were any doubt, Governor Perry again responded by assuring his steadfast opposition to any “compromise” leading to an expansion of the program.)
The Legislature issued a resounding NO on Medicaid expansion this session, after quietly trying to say yes.
The message the Obama Administration is sending is pretty clear: they are desperate for more people to sign up, especially youth, in order to support the new health-care “exchange” systems that are due to be up and running on October 1st. And it’s not lost on anyone that they desperately need Texas to agree to expand Medicaid in order to support the rest of ObamaCare.
Thankfully, despite the efforts of Speaker Joe Straus and a few of his minions, Texas never compromised (or attempted to compromise) in order to work out some sort of “Texas Solution” – a euphemism for expanding Medicaid under slightly different terms.
But the Legislative session is over now and campaign season is officially upon us. That means the handful of Republicans who did support an effort by liberal Democrat Lon Burnam and almost equally-liberal Republican John Zerwas to expand Medicaid will start up the spin machines to tell you what they voted for wasn’t Medicaid expansion.
The truth is that it most certainly was an attempt to adopt language expanding Medicaid via the budget, and most Republicans caught on and either voted “Nay” or corrected their vote with a journal statement. But the following moderate and liberal Republicans stood by their vote:
Jimmie Don Aycock (Killeen)
Dennis Bonnen (Angleton)
Bill Callegari (Houston)
Byron Cook (Corsicana)
Drew Darby (San Angelo)
John Davis (Clear Lake)
J. M. Lozano (Kingsville)
Doug Miller (New Braunfels)
Geanie Morrison (Victoria)
Diane Patrick (Arlington)
John Raney (College Station)
Allan Ritter (Nederland)
J.D. Sheffield (Gatesville)
Wayne Smith (Baytown)
John Zerwas (Simonton)
They’ll also tell you once they realized what they voted for (i.e. the blowback was much bigger than expected), they voted in favor of a procedural motion to “reconsider” the language in order to take it out of the budget.
A nice attempt to save face – politically at least.
Those Republicans should stay fresh on every taxpayer’s mind as we gear up for the 2014 primary (with the exception of John Davis, who recently announced he will not seek re-election). Every one of them failed the 2013 Fiscal Responsibility Index. Most of them failed miserably. Their vote to support ObamaCare’s Medicaid expansion is just the tip of the iceberg.