AUSTIN (April 1, 2013)—Gov. Rick Perry and the state’s two Republican senators, John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, are teaming up to oppose an expansion of Medicaid services in Texas, but their joint appearance Monday in Austin attracted about 40 protesters, who screamed "Health care now!" and "Let us in!" from outside the governor's office at the Capitol.
Advocates say extending Medicaid could provide at least some health care coverage to 1 million Texans, but the expansion is also a centerpiece of the White House-backed health care overhaul that Perry, Cruz and Cornyn despise.
Perry says the program will "bankrupt" Texas.
“Medicaid expansion is a misguided, and ultimately doomed, attempt to mask the shortcomings of Obamacare,” he said.
“It would benefit no one in our state to see their taxes skyrocket and our economy crushed as our budget crumbled under the weight of oppressive Medicaid costs.
“Texas doesn’t need another mandate, but the flexibility to care for our own in a manner that makes sense both effectively and financially,” he said.
Cruz, a tea party firebrand, wants to repeal the entire health care reform law.
Meanwhile, Democratic stars Julian and Joaquin Castro were holding their own event Monday at the state Capitol, demanding that Texas accept Medicaid expansion.