Rick Perry has vocally opposed 'Obamacare' for years, be it throughout his failed presidential candidacy or simply his three-term stint as the governor of Texas. As recently as this past April, Perry turned down $100 million in federal funding to help expand Texas' Medicaid program--funding which, according to ThinkProgress, could have helped provide basic health benefits to 1.5 million low-income Texans. Now, Perry is in negotiations with the White House to receive $100 million in order to help expand a program called Community First Choice. ThinkProgress reports:
"The Affordable Care Act grants state funding to expand a program called Community First Choice, which aims to improve the community-based medical services available to disabled and elderly Americans. The wildly popular program is administered through Medicaid and could prevent thousands of disabled and older Americans from being uprooted from their homes and into a long-term care facility for their treatments. Approximately 12,000 Texans could take advantage of it in the first year alone."
What's perhaps even more laughable is the fact that Perry's spokespeople insist that, even though the governor is negotiations to accept funds from the program, he still opposes Obamacare. The office released a statement to Politico, in which they claim that Perry has sought to help the poor in Texas long before 'Obamacare' became the law of the land:
“Long before Obamacare was forced on the American people, Texas was implementing policies to provide those with intellectual disabilities more community options to enable them to live more independent lives, at a lower cost to taxpayers. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission will continue to move forward with these policies because they are right for our citizens and our state, regardless of whatever funding schemes may be found in Obamacare.”
Advocates of the Community First Choice program contacted Politico as soon as the story broke, worried that even mentioning the program as having any relation to Obamacare might change Perry's mind. “I would hate for the CFC to become a political football,” said one advocate of the program. The article then went on to admit that, "with the possible exception of Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), few other politicians have made as big a stink about Obamacare as Perry has."
Perhaps the governor has softened his stance on the program due to the fact that he does not plan to run for reelection at the end of this term. Or perhaps Perry has finally come to terms with the fact that, ever since the Supreme Court reaffirmed the constitutionality of 'Obamacare', it is going to eventually become the law of the land, and has the potential to actually benefit millions across the country.