Obamacare foe Rick Perry suddenly wants Obamacare funds

Perry, who once called the law a "monstrosity," wants funding to care for the elderly and disabled

By Jillian Rayfield
Published August 21, 2013 1:56PM (EDT)

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has alternately referred to Obamacare as a "monstrosity" and refused to be taken "hostage" by the law's Medicaid expansion, is now seeking funding from the law to provide care for the disabled and elderly.

Politico reports:

Perry health aides are negotiating with the Obama administration on the terms of an optional Obamacare program that would allow Texas to claim stepped-up Medicaid funding for the care of people with disabilities.

The so-called Community First Choice program aims to enhance the quality of services available to the disabled and elderly in their homes or communities. Similar approaches have had bipartisan support around the country. About 12,000 Texans are expected to benefit in the first year of the program.

“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,” Perry's office said in a statement. “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.”

Earlier this month, however, Perry boasted that "In Texas, we’ve been fighting Obamacare from the beginning, refusing to expand a broken Medicaid system and declining to set up a state health insurance exchange.”

Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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Health Care Obamacare Republicans Rick Perry Texas