Despite Gov. Rick Perry’s (R-TX) strong opposition to the Affordable Care Act and the state’s participation in a lawsuit challenging reform’s constitutionality, the Select Committee on Federal Legislation of the Texas House held a four hour hearing yesterday on state efforts to implement health reform. Witnesses testified that Texas had applied for nine different grants totaling an estimated $50 million and was drafting options for establishing exchanges and taking various other stops (like simplifying the application processes for Medicaid) to comply with the federal legislation.
Insurance Commissioner Mike Geeslin testified that his office was receiving questions about “coverage for dependents and children,” “pre-existing conditions,” “the new federal risk pool or the pre-existing condition insurance plan, and then they want information about the effective days more among the lines of what I need to do and when.” This surprised Rep. Susan King (R), who wanted to know if Texans were complaining about the new law:
KING: On the complaints…what does that mean? There has not been a single complaint?
GEESLIN: That’s not to say you can’t get 10 in the office today.
KING: But you’ve had nobody really calling and being concerned? That’s really amazing. I just didn’t know….
Gleesin promised to check how the agency codes public feedback, but if the Committee’s own hearing is any indication, the state — save its politicians — seems far more interested in learning how ACA can help Texas than devising ways to repeal it. (H/T: Dallas Morning News’ Robert Garrett)