Medicine Brawl

After Barack Obama won his first term, Rick Perry responded with Fed Up!, the anti-Washington rant that gave him a national profile as a pistol-packing defender of states’ rights and coyote-menaced dogs—and briefly made him a contender for Obama’s job. Now that Obama has four more years, Perry can get to work on a sequel, both to the book and to his White House run.

Forbes: FL & TX governors could cost hospitals billions

The headline of the Forbes story was: RICK PERRY AND RICK SCOTT COULD COST HOSPITALS BILLIONS

From Forbes:

The nation’s state and local public hospitals may face an increase of more than $50 billion in the costs of uncompensated care by 2019 if states decide against participating in an expansion of the Medicaid health insurance program for the poor.

The giant price tag to safety net hospitals for patients who are unable to pay their medical bills comes from a new analysis from the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems. The association said the study puts “a dollar figure” on the additional cost of uncompensated care following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act.

R.G.’s Take: Medicaid, “Dewbamacare,” and Why We All Should Care

Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst’s sincere effort to overhaul state Medicaid to save taxpayers money and improve health care for the poor has become the best jibe of the session, mirthfully described in Capitol hallway whispers as “Dewbamacare.”

That may be nothing more than a joking reference to the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, derided by conservatives as Obamacare. But political reality suggests something else:  The moniker is designed to kill Dewhurst’s package.

Zaffirini Throws a Lifeline

A bumpy ride for Senator Jane Nelson’s subcommittee on Medicaid came to an end this morning when senators voted 5-2 to move her recommendations on to the full Finance committee. The two “no” votes were Democratic senators Zaffirini and Whitmire, both of whom were spotted huddling with Lieutenant Governor Dewhurst and Finance chair Ogden in the rear of the Senate chamber after this morning’s meeting of the full Senate.

Obama ups the ante in Medicaid debate

President Obama just lent a hand to the advocates in  Austin who have been arguing for 12-month eligibility for families signing up for Medicaid,  as opposed to having to re-up every six months. Obama today signed the SCHIP Reauthorization Act, which rewards states that reach more children with Medicaid. Currently, Texas has an estimated 500,ooo uninsured children who are eligible for the program.

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