Don't expect Governor Rick Perry to make any brazen announcements about wanting Obamacare aid. While outwardly bashing the health care program as early as yesterday, Perry is currently in negotiations to procure $100 million of federal money for Medicaid funding for his home state of Texas, according to Politico.
Specifically, Perry’s staff is seeking funding for an optional Obamacare program called Community First Choice, which will improve services for elderly and disabled patients in their own homes and neighborhoods. The program will reportedly help about 12,000 people in the first year.
Although Perry seems embrace this relatively small-scale program, he previously turned down federal funding that would have helped a far broader range of patients. Some people, like Texas Organizing Project director Ginny Goldman, accuse the governor of hypocrisy. Stated Goldman, “It’s simply a shame that Perry is willing to accept $100 million in Affordable Care Act dollars that would help some … but to at the same time reject $100 billion in federal funds and turn his back on 1.5 million people”
Some speculate that Perry feels safer politically accepting this relatively small amount of aid for a low-profile program, even as he speaks out against federal funding for health care on a large scale.
Still, the governor failed to mention his funding quest when Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius visited Texas on Tuesday to promote the “Health Young America” contest, for which participants submit and vote on videos about young peoples' experiences with the health care system.
Fox News reported that, in response to this promotional effort, Perry stated "If Obamacare were a sound health care policy, Secretary Sebelius wouldn't have to resort to video contests and prizes to tempt people to sign up … Texans are already subject to too much costly and burdensome federal regulation, and Obamacare only makes the problem worse."
If Perry does accept funding for Medicaid expansion in his state, it won’t be the first time he’s benefited from federal aid. He previously received stimulus money to help balance the state budget, and has accepted FEMA money, as well.