Political Animal


July 09, 2012 12:58 PM Texas-Sized Disgrace

By Ed Kilgore

If you spend enough time observing politics, things happen that are 100% predictable but still maddening. That’s how I feel about Rick Perry’s characteristically blustery announcement today that Texas wasn’t going to take none o’ that socialistic Medicaid expansion money—or implement health care exchanges—because he didn’t want to cooperate in the destruction of “state sovereignty.”

And so the chief executive of a state with 6.1 million uninsured people—and by far the highest rate of uninsured, about a third of the population—says he’s not willing to lift a finger (and that’s about all he would have to contribute, given the huge federal funds bonanza the Medicaid expansion would bring to Texas) to help them. This is the governor, moreover, who’s never had any problem coming up with money to offer subsidies to wealthy “job creators.”

I don’t know which explanation is worse for Perry’s efforts to punish millions of the neediest of his own people: political opportunism, or just plain meanness. But for today, he can pride himself on being the biggest SOB in America. Texas Democrats really need to devote themselves to exposing the amazing fiscal stupidity of Perry’s posture, as they began to do today:

“No person with a speck of intelligence would turn down billions in federal dollars that would be a boon to our economy and help Texans,” [Democratic Party] spokeswoman Rebecca Acuña said in a statement. “…Rick Perry’s Texas solution is to let Texans stay ill and uninsured. That is not a health care plan.”

No, it’s just a Texas-sized disgrace.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Hedda Peraz on July 09, 2012 1:15 PM:

    Our Ricky, bless his born-again heart, knows that the Lord will provide.
    Besides, we got cable; what more is there to life?

  • c u n d gulag on July 09, 2012 1:18 PM:

    And this will continue to go on, state by state, issue by issue, until the mis-under-un-informed people, somehow wake-up, and realize that they have been played for rubes, marks, and fools, letting the rich have their way, because they keep getting hooked on the shiny lures that are wedge issues - AND VOTE THESE FECKIN' THIEVES OUT OFFICE - and put in people who give a crap about the country and its people, and not their pockets and their power.

    'Til that day, the rubes, marks, and fools, in Texas will laud Perry as their champion for state's rights, liberty, and freedom - right, liberty, and freedom to die sick, young, and poor.


  • Anonymous on July 09, 2012 1:21 PM:

    Well, we'll just see, won't we? Many of the uninsured are the kind of morons who vote GOP to SAVEEEEEE THE BAYYYYYBBBEEEEEESSSSSS. Now, they get to chose - save the babies, or save themselves. Texas is filled with shit-poor morons who vote Repukeliscum, and honestly, I hope that a lot of those idiots get terminal hemorrhoids. The GOP wins in TX, AL, MS, FL, GA, SC, and all of those red states due to racists who are both poor and stupid. I don't give a shit about any of them. It is funny, however, when one of those health fairs appears in a red state.

  • John on July 09, 2012 1:23 PM:

    All this stuff is meaningless until November. They're still betting on a Romney win and repeal of the PPACA. If Obama wins, most of them will change their tunes.

  • Diane Rodriguez on July 09, 2012 1:45 PM:

    A conscience is required to feel shame. Looks like Perry and Jindal got together and agreed on a terminal stupid agenda ( destroy educational standards) followed closely by a terminally anti-Christian agenda in which the sick just suffer premature death. Wiping the anticipatory drool from their lips, the Koch brothers thank you for contributions to their offshore accounts.

  • stevio on July 09, 2012 1:47 PM:

    Too bad Perry lost the primary. I would have loved to see him beaten to a pulp in the presidential debates. RoMONEY will also be bent, spindled, and mutilated but Perry is just flat out dumb. Mitt? He's just so wealthy that he doesn't even see the morass he's in or how it affects normal slugs like you and I.

    He's like a king who would behead anyone telling him he has no clothes. He's surrounded by placaters and fools. Lots and lots of fools...

  • John Robert BEHRMAN on July 09, 2012 1:47 PM:

    The problem, of course, is that Perry can do this with impunity. Texas wallows in patronage and pork from the NHS. Every time an a**hole like Perry says f*** **u, the USG ships more money to him and his cronies.

    It is a standard technique with office-squatters from either party. Perry was a Democrat. He learned the tricks: They object until they get the deal they want.

    Trust me. Doctors and Hospitals in Texas need and want federal money. They will get it using their federal burrowers, lobbyists, and big law firms.

    Then, they will kick back plenty to Perry and Dewhurst.

    Hold Harmless! It is how Democrats lose every zero-sum game.

  • Tim Bostwick on July 09, 2012 1:53 PM:

    Why isn't this in effect a tax increase? If this money went to Washington in taxes but isn't returned to Texas for health care, taxpayers have in effect paid for nothing. What's a tax with no return? I'm not sure what to call it but it's either an effective tax increase or a tax rip-off. Voters should ask Gov. Perry if he favors a tax cut to compensate taxpayers for not getting the services they paid for. "Where's my tax cut, Gov. Perry?"

  • mudwall jackson on July 09, 2012 2:32 PM:

    if rick perry can stand by as governor and watch his state put to death an innocent man, why would he be bothered by ignoring an opportunity to provide health care for the poor? the sanctity of life indeed!

  • N.Wells on July 09, 2012 2:36 PM:

    I'm sort of thinking along the same lines as Tim. Let the Texans and other Republican-dominated states refuse to purchase that commie health insurance, so they pay fines, so the federal government earns more money, and let them refuse expanded Medicaid coverage, so all those Republicans die off early without costing the federal government much. Win-win from my viewpoint. (/snark, and other than the fact that I live in one of those currently R-dominated states.)

  • square1 on July 09, 2012 2:52 PM:

    I reserve my concern for Texas idiocy that affects the rest of the country and the planet. Life is too short to worry about protecting Texans from their own idiocy.

  • DisgustedWithItAll on July 09, 2012 3:23 PM:

    Please secede!

  • jim filyaw on July 09, 2012 4:45 PM:

    for forty years, i've been wondering at what point the light goes on for fellow southerners and they realize they've got about as much common with rick perry's kind of people as they do with the abomnible snowman.

    sadly, i'm coming to the conclusion that the answer is never.

  • emjayay on July 09, 2012 7:43 PM:

    But Perry clearly stated that in the state with the most uninsured, every Texan has access to health care. So there. No problemo.

  • Texas Aggie on July 09, 2012 8:37 PM:

    From the other side of the grave:

    “In Texas, we do not hold high expectations for the [governor's] office; it's mostly been occupied by crooks, dorks and the comatose.” - Molly Ivins

    If there were ever an argument against the existence of a righteous god, Gov. Goodhair is that argument.

  • pjcamp on July 09, 2012 11:52 PM:

    I have to point out that Texas voted for him. This is what they wanted.

    Still, I'm surprised he could remember the name of the program.

  • Texas86 on July 10, 2012 2:23 PM:

    And where will you find a doctor who accepts new Medicaid patients when most already are not accepting them? They say their Medicaid reimbursements only cover half their costs, if they're lucky. Not sure even the Pakistani & Indian Dr's see a business plan in that.