One in four people in Texas do not have medical insurance. That is the highest rate of any state in the country. These people suffer every day because they cannot afford to go to the doctor when they are sick or their children or sick. When things get bad enough, they wind up at overcrowded emergency rooms and, ultimately, we all pay the bills for that care - if in fact the hospitals get paid at all.
The state government of Texas had an opportunity to cure part of this problem by expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, but that wouldn't fit with their philosophy. That philosophy, to sum it up in one word, is cruelty. Cruelty toward anyone who isn't a millionaire and who isn't able to contribute large sums of money to their political campaigns.
Indeed, it is not enough for Rick Perry to reject the expansion of Medicaid and deny its benefits to about a million needy Texans. No, he wants to restrict the current very limited Medicaid program in Texas even further. This is one mean-spirited son of a bitch.
The irony is that Perry goes around the country spouting about the wonderful climate for business in Texas, but his decision to reject Medicaid will cost the medical industry, one of the biggest businesses in Texas - and especially the Houston area - tens of billions (that's billions with a "b") of dollars.
We have some of the finest medical facilities in the world in this state. People come from around the world to be treated here. But failing to accept Medicaid funding will ensure that many of the people who actually live and work here will be unable to take advantage of these facilities. Their inability to seek treatment will cost each of these facilities significant amounts of funding.
Local hospital district officials, chambers of commerce, economists, and others have all pleaded with Perry to see reason on this issue. But he is a stubborn, spiteful, and, frankly, not very intelligent man who, once he has taken an intransigent position, seems incapable of admitting that he might be wrong.
And so the people of Texas continue to suffer under his overweening pride and his governing philosophy of cruelty to anyone who doesn't have the power to help his political ambitions. His governorship has been and continues to be an unmitigated disaster for the ordinary people of this state.