Governor Rick Perry sent a letter to the U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today reiterating that Texas will not implement a state-based health insurance exchange. Texas joins Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell, who also announced a decision today not to implement a state-based exchange. These refusals come while the Republican Governors Association (RGA) meets in Las Vegas, Nevada, and only a day before the deadline to notify the federal government of a state’s intention to implement the exchange.
“As long as the federal government has the ability to force unknown mandates and costs upon our citizens, while retaining the sole power in approving what an exchange looks like, the notion of a state exchange is merely an illusion,” Gov. Perry’s letter says.
Prior to today’s announcement, Texas was one of 17 states considered likely to reject ObamaCare’s exchange requirement, wary of the added fiscal burden the exchanges will impose on state budgets.
In a Nov. 9 article for National Review, Michael F. Cannon of the Cato Institute listed 13 good reasons for states not to set up a health insurance exchange. Among them is that exchanges will cost states between $10 million and $100 million per year. Texas is likely to be on the latter end, which would require tax increases.
As the governor’s letter says, “It would not be fiscally responsible to put hard-working Texans on the financial hook for an unknown amount of money to operate a system under rules that have not even been written.”
We couldn’t agree more.