ThinkProgress filed this report from a town hall in Hampton, New Hampshire.
During a campaign stop in southern New Hampshire Saturday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) defended his state’s record on health issues, declaring, “We have some of the finest health care in America in Texas.”
Speaking to a town hall in Hampton, Perry discussed the “specific actions” he took in Texas to help small businesses, singling out the state’s record on health care for praise. After claiming that Texas had “some of the finest health care in America”, Perry went on to tell Granite Staters that this was the type of “environment” he wanted to bring to Washington, DC if he were elected president.
PERRY: We have some of the finest health care in America in Texas because they know they can come there and invest. There are more doctors, nurses, researchers going to work on Monday morning in Houston, Texas at the Texas Medical Center than any other place in the world. You talked about the cancer and what was happening in this country, one of the great states and where it’s happening in the fight against cancer is in the state of Texas because we invested $3 billion in finding cures for cancer. Health care is so important to a company and whether it’s going to relocate there. If you have good health care, if you have the biomedical research that’s going on. So creating that environment and transferring that to Washington D.C. is what I’m all about.
The rich or well-insured benefit from the state’s world class health care services, but Texans without insurance or independent wealth have a hard time accessing even the most basic preventive health care services
Indeed, Texas has the highest rate of uninsured residents of any state, over 10 points higher than the national average at nearly 26 percent. One reason why Texas’ record on health care is so lacking is that it has “among the country’s most restrictive Medicaid eligibility thresholds,” preventing thousands from getting insurance and treatment.
Even the changes that Perry touts, including tort reform, haven’t stopped areas of Texas from having some of the highest per capita health care costs in the nation, as a New Yorker investigation revealed.
Far from being the “finest health care in America,” Texas boasts significant problems in both access and cost. These are some of the principal issues that will be mitigated by the Affordable Care Act, a law that Perry wants to repeal in order to make American health care look more like it is in Texas.