On Monday Governor Rick Perry rejected an expansion of Medicaid called for under Obamacare. Since then elected officials and special interest groups have been taking sides. One of the first groups to denounce the Governor’s conservative stand was the Texas Hospital Association.
Perry’s decision to reject a Medicaid expansion is consistent with his past practice of rejecting Washington mandates that will potentially grow Texas’ welfare rolls and stress the budget. In 2009 Perry refused to accept a limited infusion of Unemployment Insurance cash that would have forced a permanent expansion of UI benefits. Texas continues to boast one of the best economies in the nation.
The Hospital Association taking a stance that counters conservatives before the upcoming primary election gives voters an additional measure by which to grade candidates. Below is a list of run-off candidates endorsed by HOSPAC the Hospital Association’s political arm. HOSPAC endorsements counter conservatives inall but 2 GOP runoffs.
|Body||District||HOSPAC endorsement||Conservative Groups||Conservative candidate|
|House||11||Chuck Hopson||Against||Travis Clardy|
|House||68||Trent McKnight||Against||Drew Springer|
|House||88||Ken King||Against||Jim Landtroop|
|House||91||Ken Sapp||Against||Stephanie Klick|
|House||114||Jason Villalba||Against||Bill Keffer|
|House||115||Bennett Ratliff||Against||Steve Nguyen|
|Senate||25||Jeff Wentworth||Against||Donna Campbell|
In addition to HOSPAC’s endorsements we’ve pulled the group’s 2012 political contributions. The PAC has spent nearly $105,000 during the 2012 primaries winning 50% of their races, losing 30%, while awaiting runoff results in the other 20%.
HOSPAC’s largest donation by far this cycle has been to Joe Straus, who received $10,000 for his 2012 primary. Notably, Straus did not side with Perry this week in roundly renouncing Obama’s attempt to expand Medicaid. The current Speaker did not signal he would side with Republicans if Obama is re-elected in November instead saying he would need to hear from “stakeholders”. Straus was brought to power by Democrats in 2009.
Republican State Representative Bryan Hughes, currently challenging Straus to become Speaker, released a statement this morning affirming Perry’s action. For Hughes it’s not a question of who wins in November, “I am optimistic that November will give us a new President and a new Congress that will repeal this misnamed Affordable Care Act. But we don’t have to wait until then to decide what Texas should do.”
Here is a list of HOSPAC’s 2012 political contributions to date.
|House||88||Ken King Campaigm||R||$2,000.00||Runoff|
|House||98||Vicki Truitt via Texas Alliance for Life||R||$2,000.00||Loss|
|House||137||Joseph Carlos Madden||D||$2,000.00||Loss|
|Supreme Court||2||Don Willett||R||$1,000.00||Win|
|Supreme Court||4||David Medina||R||$1,000.00||Runoff|
|Supreme Court||6||Justice Nathan Hecht||R||$1,000.00||Win|
*Conservatives groups referenced in the chart include Young Conservatives of Texas and Empower Texans. YCT and Empower Texans base endorsements on past legislative experience, candidate interviews, and questionnaires.