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Add Rick Perry to the list of governors refusing to implement key portions of President Obama's landmark health care reform 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," the Texas governor said in a statement Monday that Reuters reports declared the Lone Star state will not implement a Medicaid expansion or health insurance exchange, two parts of the so-called Obamacare law that was largely upheld by the Supreme Court late last month.
The one-time GOP presidential front-runner continued: "Neither a 'state' exchange nor the expansion of Medicaid under this program would result in better 'patient protection' or in more 'affordable care.' They would only make Texas a mere appendage of the federal government when it comes to health care."
Notably, should the law survive an onslaught of GOP-led repeal attempts, states that miss deadlines to implement health care exchanges will likely see the federal government set up an exchange for them. The exchanges, which are intended to extend access to affordable coverage to millions of Americans, are are supposed to be live by January 1, 2014. States face a November deadline for proposing a way to meet the law's requirements.
While some Republican governors are waiting for the outcome of the November elections to decide whether they'll abide by the requirement, a handful of states have already opted not to implement either the exchanges or the Medicaid expansion, the latter of which, after the Supreme Court ruling, is optional for states. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott have all released statements saying they won't implement changes under the Affordable Care Act.
Rick Perry announced his decision on behalf of the state on the same day that the Associated Press reported that just 31 percent of Texas doctors say they'll accept new patients who rely on Medicaid, according to a statewide doctor survey. That's a dramatic drop from 2000, when 67 percent of state doctors said they would. Doctors argue that the state's Medicaid program only pays for about half of the cost of many services, meaning that physicians end up losing money on Medicaid patients.