March 17, 2017
The Honorable Ted Cruz
404 Russell SOB
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Senator Cruz,
As the seventh anniversary of the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (more commonly known as the ACA or Obamacare) approaches, we write to encourage you to fully repeal the entire law. Obamacare has caused Medicaid enrollment numbers to increase to historic highs, making priorities such as schools, roads, and property tax relief have to compete for limited resources in our state’s budget. It has also forced many Texans to make impossible choices with their household budgets as they try to absorb huge spikes in health insurance premiums caused by the ACA’s onerous federal insurance regulations and mandates. This law has been disastrous and we encourage you to take this opportunity to free future generations from the burden it has created.
The solutions that Congress is trying to develop are best left to the states. Texas should take the lead, and we welcome both the responsibility and opportunity to do so. As a state with a strong economy and strong business climate, Texas is well-positioned to implement market-based reforms that will empower patients, drive down costs, and improve the quality of care. This begins with full repeal and is followed by allowing states to exercise maximum flexibility to regulate their commercial markets, administer their Medicaid programs, and implement innovative reforms that better target care for high-needs populations. Such an approach would provide Texas with the freedom to pursue free market solutions even if other states, like California and Vermont, continue to perpetuate government control over the supply and demand of healthcare.
Furthermore, the current debate maintains the existing inequity between states that expanded Medicaid and states that took the fiscally responsible position, like Texas, and refused to grow the beleaguered program. Repealing the expansion and allowing states to develop their own reforms is the only way to ensure states have sovereignty over their healthcare decisions, are treated equitably, and can make the fundamental reforms needed to deliver better care at lower costs.
Our founding fathers would not recognize the current federal government as one of limited powers as they envisaged in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. As James Madison observed in Federalist No. 51:
In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.
We would encourage you to heed this observation, repeal Obamacare and the Medicaid expansion in its entirety, and return these responsibilities to the states.
Thank you for your prompt attention to this request.
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