“One year ago, Congress completed one of the most audacious power grabs in our country’s history when it gave final approval to ObamaCare. The Texas Public Policy Foundation was a vocal critic of the ObamaCare proposal, as our research showed it would increase health care costs and medical price inflation, slow our national economy, and still leave 30 million Americans uninsured. The events of the last year have only vindicated that assessment.

“Even in its early stages of implementation, ObamaCare is increasing the cost and reducing access to health care. When the Foundation’s health insurance came up for renewal, our premiums increased at a faster rate and there were fewer alternatives in the marketplace. The Obama Administration has already had to issue more than 1,000 waivers to prevent millions of Americans from losing their health care coverage.

“The most worrisome aspect to Texas is the effect ObamaCare’s dramatic expansion of Medicaid will have on our state budget. The 2012-13 budget begins a long-term pattern where education, public safety, and other key functions of state government are crowded out by the escalating demands of Medicaid. Our research has shown that the 2014-15 state budget will require an additional $14 billion to $15 billion in new state revenue for Medicaid, absent fundamental reform. That will mean dramatic cuts in education funding or a sales tax increase of 4.5 cents, giving Texas the highest sales tax in the nation.

“We encourage Congress to continue its efforts to stop ObamaCare, chipping away at the most onerous aspects and defunding it until it can be fully repealed in 2013. On the state level, the Health Freedom Act and the Interstate Health Care Compact are two ways the Texas Legislature can mitigate the harmful effects that ObamaCare is inflicting on Americans’ health care.”

The Honorable Arlene Wohlgemuth is the Executive Director and Director of the Center for Health Care Policy at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin. She served 10 years in the Texas House of Representatives, specializing in health care issues.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit free-market research institute based in Austin.

Primary website: www.TexasPolicy.com Facebook page: www.Facebook.com/TexasPublicPolicyFoundation Twitter feed: www.Twitter.com/TPPF

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