Marilyn Tennissen Nov. 29, 2014, 6:00pm


Texas won't be expanding Medicaid under President Obama's healthcare plan, lawmakers said in a Monday press conference.

Gov. Rick Perry, Sen. John Cornyn and Sen. Ted Cruz held a roundtable discussion and a press conference to discuss the flexibility needed by states to enact meaningful reforms to the existing, broken Medicaid program.

"Medicaid expansion is a misguided, and ultimately doomed, attempt to mask the shortcomings of Obamacare. It would benefit no one in our state to see their taxes skyrocket and our economy crushed as our budget crumbled under the weight of oppressive Medicaid costs," Gov. Perry said. "Texas doesn't need another mandate, but the flexibility to care for our own in a manner that makes sense both effectively and financially."

Gov. Perry met with the Texas Congressional Delegation last month to ask for their help in securing flexible federal funding that would allow the state to implement reforms to the existing Medicaid program. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission projects Medicaid expansion alone would cost tens of billions in combined state and federal funds over the next 10 years. The program already makes up one quarter of Texas' budget.

"Medicaid is a broken system that is failing Texans and overwhelming the state budget. The program must be fundamentally reformed, and Texas - not the federal government - is best suited to design a health care program for its poorest and most vulnerable residents," Sen. Cornyn said. "The time has come for Congress to allow the states to do just that, with a block grant of federal Medicaid funds."

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