This morning's post on Texas generated a lot of commentary. I've talked to people close to Governor Perry and want to give some information from their perspective.
Yesterday, the Texas House voted to begin the expansion of medicaid under Obamacare. Later in the evening, they rescinded the effort. Several reporters and others I talked with explained that while Governor Perry is "rock solid" on the issue, his staff has sent mixed signals on the issue and Joe Straus, the squishy Speaker of the Texas House, and others were taking advantage of it.
I talked to people close to the Governor this morning and they make clear that there is no shadow between the Governor and his staff on this issue. While others may have that impression, they are adamant it is not the case.
More particularly, I'm told that from the Governor to his staff, their position is that the alternative to medicaid expansion pursuant to Obamacare is freedom.
The confusion here seemingly arises in many people in and out of the Texas legislature expecting there to be some alternative to the medicaid expansion in Obamacare. The Governor's position is there will be no expansion under any alternative and he will hold the line.
Those close to the Governor want to make clear that neither the Governor nor his staff intend to expand medicaid under any alternative. Any confusion on the issue, they tell me, does not come from them.
I talked to one person involved in Texas legislative battles after speaking to those close to Governor Perry. He tells me he's afraid there will continue to be a push for alternatives, but he is reassured that as long as Governor Perry is Governor, he can breath easy. This person, however, remains deeply suspicious that both Straus and Dewhurst will continue exploring ways to undermine the Governor. At least now they can be sure the Governor's staff is not, contrary to the impression held by some, out of sync with the Governor.