AUSTIN, Texas — Gov. Rick Perry made clear his opposition to both the expansion of Medicaid, as provided in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as well as the creation of a state health insurance exchange.

In response to this announcement, Dan Stultz, M.D., FACP, FACHE, THA president/chief executive officer, said the following:

“Hospitals agree with the Governor that the Medicaid program is severely flawed. Below cost reimbursement to providers creates an access to care problem for the millions currently enrolled, and there have been legitimate concerns about whether the program can sustain the millions more who would have enrolled because of the health care reform law. However, without the Medicaid expansion, many will remain uninsured, seeking care in emergency rooms, shifting costs to the privately insured, and increasing uncompensated care to health care providers.

“With a strained state budget, it’s hard to imagine addressing the uninsured problem in Texas without leveraging federal funds, which will now go to other states that choose to expand their Medicaid program. We, nonetheless, look forward to working with the Governor and members of the Texas Legislature to find a way to ensure low income Texans have access to affordable insurance coverage and to reform the Medicaid program for those currently enrolled.”