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Public Statements

Gov. Perry: States Must Have the Power to Implement Effective Health Care Policies

Press Release

Location: Austin, TX

Gov. Perry: States Must Have the Power to Implement Effective Health Care Policies

Emphasizes state based solutions, preventive and primary care

Gov. Rick Perry, in a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, today emphasized the state's 10th Amendment authority to set effective health care policies for Texans. The governor reiterated his request for a federal Medicaid waiver that would allow Texas to pursue state-based solutions to provide more uninsured low-income Texans with insurance, reduce expensive emergency room visits for basic care and make it easier to buy into employer-sponsored insurance.

"It is critical that federal health care legislation empowers states to create and implement health care policy that achieves increased private insurance coverage, reduces bureaucracy and medical lawsuit abuse, controls costs and improves the quality and delivery of health care," Gov. Perry said. "Texas' waiver presents a strategic alternative to continued reliance on government-run health care programs and our already overburdened safety net systems of care."

Texas' plan seeks to transform access for the uninsured from a heavy reliance on hospital-based care to increased access to primary and preventive care. The state's plan also focuses on a sustainable, market driven approach to optimize existing state health care dollars to help uninsured low-income Texans buy private insurance coverage, promoting consumer choice and responsibility and encouraging preventive care.

The state's original waiver request was submitted in April 2008.

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