The Corner

Greg Abbott Aide: Texas Governor Will Not Expand Medicaid

Governor-Elect Greg Abbott (R., Texas) will not expand Medicaid despite hopes by Obamacare supporters that he would do so following a report that he inquired about Utah’s variation of the health program.

“Fear not — Governor-elect Abbott has fought Obamacare and will continue to fight against it. He believes the ACA is not the best option for patients, doctors or taxpayers,” spokeswoman Amelia Chasse tells National Review Online in a statement. “Greg Abbott believes that Texas should be able to address our unique health-care situation without federal interference, putting patients and doctors in charge of health-care decisions.”

Abbott and his team “were surprised” to read a Houston Chronicle article that construed his request for information about Utah’s compromise with the federal government as a statement of interest in bringing Obamacare to Texas, according to one source close to Abbott’s team.

“His position has been grossly mischaracterized,” the source tells NRO. The confusion traces back to a report that Abbott had “asked for more information” about the Healthy Utah plan, which is Republican Governor Gary Herbert’s way of expanding Medicaid in his state. Abbott inquired about it not because he might replicate the model in Texas, but because it was mentioned in the conversation and he was ignorant about the Utah plan.

Abbott does have a reform proposal for Medicaid, but it doesn’t involve using the dollars from Obamacare’s expansion. “Medicaid  is in dire need of reform by giving the states more local control in the form of block grants,” a campaign document of Abbott’s “Healthy Texans” plan says.

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