Texas is formally rejecting one of the main tenets of President Obama's health care reform plan. In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Gov. Rick Perry reiterated his stance against a state-run exchange and confirmed that Texas will not create one.
The exchange is required as as part of the Affordable Care Act. It gives people without insurance a place to shop for and compare plans and buy health insurance online.
President Obama has described it as a market where, "Americans can one-stop shop for a health care plan, compare benefits and prices and choose the plan that's best for them."
Under the law, states can set up their own exchange, partner with the federal government or let Washington roll out a plan for them.
Perry has said the program is another example of federal overreach. In an email statement Thursday he said, "As long as the federal government has the ability to force unknown mandates and costs upon our citizens, while retaining the sole power in approving what an exchange looks like, the notion of a state exchange is merely an illusion."
Since the state won't implement its own exchange, Texans will rely on one created by the department of Health and Human Services.
States originally had until Friday to decide how they would move forward. Late this evening, however, the Department of Health and Human services announced it would give undecided states another month to decide how they will carry out the new health care law.
Here is the letter Gov. Perry sent to Washington: