Texans forced to play by federal rules
Despite Governor Rick Perry's objection to state-run health care exchanges under Obamacare, consumer advocates say once they go live in 2014, Texans will have a slew of new choices as insurers compete for business.
“Private individuals who either aren't employed or have small companies, who in the past didn't have access to insurance, now will have access to insurance though these exchanges and the lessening of pre-existing conditions clauses,” says Kevin Flynn at HealthCare Advocates.
Consumers can expect to see silver, gold and platinum-level packages. But at the same time, Flynn says there will be fewer insurers due to consolidation, and fewer private practices as well.
“Dr. Joe, Dr. Larry, Dr. Mary, they're no longer sole practitioners,” he says. “Because of the cutbacks in Medicare, you see they have to part of a health system just to survive.”
Gov. Perry and state Republicans say unless states are allowed to run exchanges under their own rules, Texans will just have to accept what the federal government offers.
If problems do arise in Texas, State Rep. John Zerwas, an anesthesiologist, insists lawmakers in Austin can address those later.
“Let the federal government run it know they're going to run it regardless, and we'll keep tabs on it,” says Zerwas.