Texans Pressure Perry to Expand Medicaid

Tuesday, 05 Mar 2013 12:08 PM

By Lisa Barron

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Hundreds of activists and uninsured Texans planned to rally at the Texas Capitol on Tuesday, calling on Republican Gov. Rick Perry and other GOP leaders to change their opposition to expanding Medicaid, reports The New York Times.

Perry has said publicly he has no intention of expanding the program under President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law. When he made his decision official last July, Perry wrote of standing "with the growing chorus of governors who reject the Obamacare power grab."

But at least seven Republican governors, including Chris Christie of New Jersey and Rick Scott of Florida, have changed their minds and said they would accept federal money to expand Medicaid.

Several cities and counties in Texas have passed resolutions calling for Medicaid expansion, including the city councils of Austin and Waco, the Times noted. Several healthcare and financial experts, including Elena Marks, former director of health policy for the city of Houston, have also embraced the expansion, putting further pressure on Perry.

The Texas Medical Association, which represents more than 47,000 physicians and medical students, has called on state leaders to expand Medicare with reforms, while the Chambers of Commerce in Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and other cities have come down as well on the side of expansion.

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