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Texas Sidestep Exposes Medicaid Rhetoric

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, August 29, 2012

In addition, hospital executives, who often carry political clout in the state legislature as the largest employers in their districts, have already started to push back against Perry's pronouncement.

Texas Hospital Association Executive Director Dan Stultz said in prepared remarks that the state's hospitals "recognize there are concerns with expanding the Medicaid population, but given the state's high number of uninsured, all options for gaining insurance coverage must be closely considered. Without the Medicaid expansion, many will remain uninsured, shifting costs to the insured and increasing uncompensated care to health-care providers."

Most tellingly, on the same day that Gov. Perry issued his broadside to Secretary Sebelius, WellPoint Inc. announced that it was spending $4.9 billion to acquire Amerigroup Inc. which describes itself as "dedicated to the Medicaid, SCHIP, SSI and Medicare programs in the State of Texas" and in 12 other states.

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