Perry Not Budging On Medicaid Expansion

WASHINGTON (February 22, 2013)--Texas Gov. Rick Perry reiterated Friday that won't expand Medicaid services in the state.

Perry, during a visit to Washington, said expanding the program would bankrupt the state.

He said federal authorities are not allowing Texas the flexibility to modify the program.

Advocates of expanded services say an additional 1 million Texans could receive some level of health insurance coverage.

Hecklers critical of his stance on Medicaid disrupted his comments to a Republican group Friday.

Perry countered that controlling spending is one reason Texas is attractive to new business.

The purpose of his talk was to tout his state's economic and job growth.

On Thursday, Florida’s Republican Gov. Rick Scott announced that he will expand Medicaid to an estimated 900,000 additional residents under President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

The decision was a surprise because Scott had been a vocal critic of the Affordable Care Act.

The Republican governor said Wednesday that he will support a bill that would expire in three years.

Scott entered politics in 2009 running national cable TV commercials criticizing the president's plan.

The federal government will pay for the Medicaid expansion for the first three years and pay 90 percent after that.

Scott joined six other Republican governors who are also expanding Medicaid.

The decision came hours after federal officials announced they will approve Florida's request to privatize its existing Medicaid program if the state agrees to measure the quality of patient care.

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