Rick rejects even more federal money with strings attached...
Rick has now rejected three possible sources of "free" federal money that would have eventually run out and left Texas taxpayers on the hook for much higher costs in the long run...
This latest one is hard to understand to the layman, but here is a little bit about it (link). Excerpt follows...
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry told federal officials on Friday that Texas would not participate in health insurance pools for high risk individuals that are being set up under the new national health care law.
Perry, citing some of the same reasons he used to pull out of the Race to the Top education funding grant program in January, said there are not enough health care rules to guide the states. He also said he believes the $5 billion Congress set aside to set up pools in all 50 states for four years is inadequate.
“Most experts believe this amount to be insufficient. In the coming years, state officials could be forced to reduce health coverage, raise premiums or ask state taxpayers to pay for these high-risk pools once federal funds run dry,” Perry said in his letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.
Perry said the state also does not know what the rules for these pools will be in the future.
“As we've seen in federal education and stimulus programs, the administration is again asking the states to commit to a program without knowing the rules of engagement,” Perry said.
This is the third major source of federal funding that Perry has rejected.
Perry decided against competing with other states for $750 million in Race to the Top education funding because one element required states to follow yet-to-be-written national education curriculum standards. Critics said Perry could have applied for the funding without making that agreement.
In both the health insurance rick pool and Race to the Top funding, Perry did not close to door to applying for the funds at a later date.
Perry last year rejected $550 million in federal unemployment stimulus funds because it would have required an expansion of who can receive unemployment benefits in Texas. Lawmakers tried to pass a bill to sidestep Perry, but it died at the end of the legislative session.
Bravo. I wonder how long it will take for Bill White to criticize this move?