Governors from States with Most Uninsured Oppose Expanding Health Insurance for Uninsured

Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Gov. Rick Perry (photo: Gage Skidmore, Wikipedia)
The more a state needs help with its uninsured, the more likely its (Republican) leader opposes the federal healthcare reform law.
According to the Brookings Institution, a liberal-leaning think tank, 14 of the 19 states with the highest rates of uninsured people are led by a Republican governor. And 10 of the 14 GOP governors have publicly said they will oppose expanding Medicaid rolls (or are leaning in that direction), which is called for under the new law.
The 10 states—all of which have uninsured rates that are equal to or greater than the national average—are Alabama (16%), Louisiana (17%), Oklahoma (18%), Arizona (19%), Mississippi (19%), South Carolina (19%), Georgia (20%), Florida (21%), Nevada (21%), New Mexico (21%) and Texas (25%).
Presumably, the Republican governors of these states have determined that they don’t need the votes of uninsured citizens to gain reelection.
Texas Governor Rick Perry (R), whose state has the highest percentage of people lacking health insurance, was particularly incensed by the Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the law.
“Freedom was frontally attacked by passage of this monstrosity—and the Court utterly failed in its duty to uphold the Constitutional limits placed on Washington,” Perry said. “Now that the Supreme Court has abandoned us, we citizens must take action at every level of government and demand real reform, done with respect for our Constitution and our liberty.”
On the flip side, states with lower rates of uninsured tend to be in favor of President Barack Obama’s healthcare law and led by Democratic governors. These include the states with the four lowest rates: Massachusetts, Hawaii, Minnesota and Vermont.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
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