Potential presidential candidate Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) slammed Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts health care law during an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network last week, calling the effort a failure that he doesn’t wish to duplicate in Texas. “If some state decides to do something like pass a health care plan that, you know, is kind of like this Obama thing and it’s a failure then we kind of go, ‘ooh, we don’t want to do that,’ and that state may have been harmed by it, but the whole nation was not,” he said:
PERRY: On the other side of the coin, Massachusetts is free to experiment with state run healthcare. If federalism is respected, the people of Massachusetts are free to try it while the rest of the nation sits back and watches to see if they have any success, and whether any success they do have is worth the price of losing liberty. Now, we in Texas are not too excited about the prospect of government-run anything, much less health care, and the federal legislation – known to most as Obamacare – is a direct result on the principle of federalism.
Perry’s argument is hard to swallow, particularly since Massachusetts enjoys the highest insured rates in the country and has actually expanded private coverage as a result of the 2006 reforms. But the comments also invite a fairly unflattering comparison of Perry’s own health care record in Texas, where, under his watch, the number of uninsured residents grew by approximately 2 million people. In fact, Rick Perry’s Texas is in many ways the exact opposite of Romney’s Massachusetts:
|Uninsured population||Uninsured children||Average Annual Percent Growth||Infant Mortality|
|Texas||6.2 Million (26%)||1.3 Million (18%)||7.4%||6.3|
|Massachusetts||323,500 (5%)||51,400 (3%)||6.3%||5.0|