Gov. Perry: Why Do You Want to Take Away Our Health Care?


secedeHealth insurance companies can’t deny you care based on pre-existing conditions. Millions of children once denied quality health care can now receive it. Coverage and benefits can’t be turned down by insurance industry death panels (yes, that’s where the real “death panels” are). And you can’t be tossed off your insurance plan when you get sick, a twisted insurance industry practice that means you sent them money for nothing.

Let me mention what is maybe the greatest moral victory of health care reform:  we, as a nation, have now agreed to take care of our children, innocents who through no fault of their own have been denied health care so the insurance industry can make its bloody billions.

Gov. Rick Perry wants to take this away from Texans. It’s easy to see why. He’s a whore for the insurance industry. Should I use a nicer term? Okay. He’s an escort service for the insurance industry. Many Republicans around the country are backing off their criticisms of health care reform. But Perry, who has built his campaign around the racist language of secession and states rights, wants his re-election to be about the African-American in the White House. He’s hoping the racists in Texas outnumber the God-faring and the righteous, those who hate bigotry in all its guises. So, his target is not really our health care. It’s President Obama. But he’s willing to sacrifice our health to make that point. And service his masters in the insurance industry.

It doesn’t get any more cynical and morally bankrupt than that.

By the way, Perry’s op-ed piece on health care is full of lies, as the Texas Observer details for us. But once a child has died because you’ve denied her health care for political reasons, a few little lies are hardly gonna make a difference on the karmic balance sheet.

Author: Glenn W. Smith

Glenn W. Smith has spent the past 30 years in journalism and politics, where he’s made a name for himself as a writer, campaign manager, activist, think tank analyst and, as Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas says, a “legendary political consultant and all-around good guy.” “There’s no one like him,” says author George Lakoff. CNN commentator Paul Begala says, “He has unmatched experience, a graceful pen (or pixel nowadays) and deep insight into the best and worst of us.” Novelist Sarah Bird speaks of his “lucid and lyrical” prose. And, she says, he’s fun. Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington says Glenn writes with “grace and abundant humor” and “uses his colorful experiences in Texas to enlighten us all.”

Smith led Ann Richards’ successful 1990 campaign for Governor of Texas. He worked for former Texas Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby and U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen. Earlier, Smith was a political reporter for the Houston Chronicle and the Houston Post. He’s coordinated national campaigns for groups such as In 2004, he authored the highly acclaimed book, The Politics of Deceit: Saving Freedom and Democracy from Extinction. He also wrote Unfit Commander, a book that detailed George W. Bush’s mysterious disappearance from military service.

In 2004, Smith was featured in the film, Bush’s Brain, a documentary about Karl Rove. Smith provided commentary on Rove’s role as then-President Bush’s senior advisor. He has made numerous media appearances with Chris Mathews on Hardball, Joe Scarborough, Brit Hume, and many others. He writes a regularly for top national web sites, including FireDogLake and Huffington Post.

As a senior fellow at George Lakoff’s prestigious Rockridge Institute in Berkeley he studied, wrote and taught on the power of metaphor and narrative in political communications. He also lectured on religion and politics at the Starr King School for Ministry in Berkeley. As a sponsor and organizer, he has pulled together numerous national events with progressive religious leaders. He also organized a celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King at Riverside Church in New York City as well as “Freedom and Faith” bus tours, which was a nationwide campaign for social justice and progressive values.

Smith’s play, Double Play, which explored American Western myths and legends, was held over to sold-out audiences. He’s even written and performed songs in the Americana tradition, such as his best-known song, “Helping Marty Robbins,” a tribute to his hometown, Houston.

Most recently, Smith is the creator of DogCanyon, a political and cultural web site covering state, national and global issues from a Texas perspective. DogCanyon is an exhilarating and unique site that gets the connections between politics and culture and explores both the personal side of politics and the ups, down, craziness and beauty of “life its ownself,” as humorist Dan Jenkins would say. DogCanyon offers heartfelt personal essays, hard-hitting political analysis, and, most importantly, laughs.

As Paul Begala said, Smith writes in “the finest, firmest, fearless tradition of Texas essayists like Molly Ivins.”

6 thoughts on “Gov. Perry: Why Do You Want to Take Away Our Health Care?”

  1. It would be great to hear Bill White respond to this partisan nonsense with an op-ed describing the ways health care reform will benefit Texas and how he will help implement it efficiently and cost effectively.

    Another good chance to let Texans decide what kind of leadership they want…

  2. Gov. Rick Perry’s State Department of Insurance up ’til now has had primary responsibility for making sure that Texans had access to affordable health insurance, and the state has abdicated that responsibility (a quarter of Texans are uninsured). That is why the feds had to step in.

    As the Austin American-Statesman noted:

    “Most states regulate what companies charge their residents for health insurance. But in Texas, the majority of life, accident and health insurance rate hikes are never filed with the Texas Department of Insurance, according to the Texas Sunset Commission. Except for Medicare supplemental insurance, no prior state approval is needed to increase health insurance premiums.”


    The State Department of Insurance will be up for Sunset review next year, and I hope that Democrats will hold the Republicans’ feet to the fire on their failure to regulate insurance companies’ rates.

  3. Seems like about five years ago I called the state insurance board hoping there was some mistake or something I could do about the sudden approx. 40% rate hike in my individual plan premiums.

    The lady informed me, no, insurance companies in Texas can raise rates up to 50% a year without notice or review by the board.

    That’s when I figured out that whatever that office was, it was *not* a consumer protection agency.

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