The Texas governor offered few specifics in his 2012 health platform, but a look at his record suggests he'd give states more control over federal programs
Gov. Rick Perry routinely attacks federal health care reform, calling it a massive overreach that intrudes into the lives of every American. But in the presidential contender's early days on the campaign trail, he has revealed little about what his own "Perrycare" could look like -- or how much changing American health care will figure into his candidacy.
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Political strategists say, don't hold your breath: Republican candidates talk very little about health care in primary campaigns because the issue isn't a top priority for their voters, and because anything beyond hammering "Obamacare" could become a target for critics. They don't expect Perry to roll out details in stump speeches unless he makes it to the general election, where Democrats could try to hit him on Texas' low spending on mental health and Medicaid, and the state's poor rate of insurance coverage.
On Wednesday night, the governor's camp provided The Texas Tribune with an early sketch of what his health care plan could entail. Perry spokesman Mark Miner said the first thing the governor would do as president is work with Congress to repeal "Obamacare." Then he would "start over," first by working to stabilize the country's economy for employers, then by trying to "free states from federal mandates and empower them to develop innovative solutions." Finally, he would attempt to lower skyrocketing health care costs "through the proven, market-based strategies of transparency, choice and competition." Perry wants states to be given flexibility and incentives to foster competition in the insurance market, to design solutions for patients with pre-existing conditions, to lower costs for small businesses and to implement medical malpractice reform, Miner said.