Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus sent a firmly-worded letter to Congress today, urging members to vote against health care reform in Washington, or, as they dub it, "the federal government's takeover of health care." A vote is expected on Sunday.
"Texans deserve affordable, high-quality health care, not higher taxes, increased health insurance premiums and unprecedented mandates," they wrote.
But 13 Democratic Texas lawmakers sent a competing letter to Texas' Congressional delegation, asking for their support voting for the measure.
"It's clear that Texas needs federal healthcare reform," the Democrats wrote. "We'll continue to fight on a state level regardless of the outcome."
The letter from Republican state leaders says that the Texas Health and Human Services Commission estimates the latest proposal will "double the number of Medicaid recipients, increasing the burden on Texas taxpayers by an additional $24.3 billion over the next 10 years." The three Republican state leaders allege that "backgroom negotiations and special deals that some congressional leaders have cut" may even be unconstitutional.
The Democrats refute these statements in their letter,and say the cost projections the Republicans are relying on are out of date. "It should be noted that their constitutional arguments have been soundly refuted by legal experts and that the so called 'special deals' have been removed through the reconciliation bill," their letter says.