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Perry: Medicaid expansion is like ‘adding 1,000 people to the Titanic’

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) on Monday said that his state would refuse to implement President Barack Obama’s health care reform law because it was “like adding 1,000 people to the Titanic.”

In a statement released on Monday, Perry said that he would not set up state health care exchanges and he would reject federal funds to expand Medicaid.

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“If anyone had any doubt, we wanted to put it to bed that Texas wasn’t going to be a part of expanding socializing of our medicine,” the governor told Fox News host Jenna Lee. “So, we’re not going to participate in exchanges, we’re not going to expand Medicaid.”

Lee noted that the federal government would set up state exchanges if Texas refused, allowing the feds to have more impact on the state’s health care.

“The bottom line here is that Medicaid is a failed program,” Perry opined. “To expand this program is not unlike adding 1,000 people to the Titanic. You’re going to further drive this country into debt. … We don’t trust this administration and we don’t trust Washington, D.C. to be able to deliver health care in our state. If they trusted us, they would basically block grant it back to the states and we would do a substantially better job than what you’re going to see with these exchanges and with the expansion of Medicaid.”

“According to a new federal government report — I know you’ve seen this — Texas has ranked last when it comes to health services provided by the state,” the Fox News host pointed out. “The facts are one out of four Texans is without health insurance, one out of four Texans is on Medicare or Medicaid.”

“We got some of the finest health care in the world,” Perry insisted. “The idea that this federal government, which doesn’t like Texas to begin with, to pick and choose and come up with some data and say Texas has the worse health care system in the world is just fake and false on its face.”

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“The real issue here is about freedom,” he continued. “Every Texan has health care in this state. From the standpoint of having access to health care, every Texan has that. How we pay for it and how we deliver it should be our decision.”

Lee wondered what Perry would say to small businesses that had migrated to Texas and now wanted to utilize the insurance exchanges to provide health care coverage for their employees.

“Well, I say to them that they moved to the state of Texas for freedom,” the former Republican presidential candidate explained. “We believe in freedom and we believe that those small business should be able to make the best decisions.”

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Perry is the sixth governor to refuse to implement parts of the Affordable Care Act.

Watch this video from Fox News’ Happening Now, broadcast July 9, 2012.

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