Texas Close To Receiving 17th Medicaid Waiver, Despite Perry’s Complaints Of Federal Inflexibility

During a GOP presidential debate at the Reagan Library earlier this month, Rick Perry blamed the federal government for Texas’ high uinsurance rates and health care costs, claiming, “we would not have that many people uninsured in the state of Texas if you didn’t have the federal government.” “We’ve had requests in for years at the Health and Human Services agencies to have that type of flexibility where we could have menus, where we could have co-pays, and the federal government refuses to give us that flexibility,” he added.

But yesterday, Texas received a thumbs up from the Obama administration “on a proposed overhaul of the Texas Medicaid program” that would allow Perry “to expand Medicaid managed care across the state and create funding pools to finance hospital infrastructure and quality improvement programs.” If the federal government grants its final approval, it will be the state’s 17th Medicaid waiver, undermining Perry’s argument that the federal government has prevented Texas from pursuing “innovating” health care solutions.