Gov. Rick Perry, raising the specter of a showdown with the Obama administration, suggested Thursday that he would consider invoking states’ rights protections under the 10th Amendment to resist the president’s healthcare plan, which he said would be "disastrous" for Texas.
Interviewed by conservative talk show host Mark Davis of Dallas’ WBAP/820 AM, Perry said his first hope is that Congress will defeat the plan, which both Perry and Davis described as "Obama Care." But should it pass, Perry predicted that Texas and a "number" of states might resist the federal health mandate.
"I think you’ll hear states and governors standing up and saying 'no’ to this type of encroachment on the states with their healthcare," Perry said. "So my hope is that we never have to have that stand-up. But I’m certainly willing and ready for the fight if this administration continues to try to force their very expansive government philosophy down our collective throats."
Perry, the state’s longest-serving governor, has made defiance of Washington a hallmark of his state administration as well as his emerging re-election campaign against U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in the 2010 Republican primary. Earlier this year, Perry refused $555 million in federal unemployment stimulus money, saying it would subject Texas to long-term costs after the federal dollars ended.
"It really is a state issue, and if there was ever an argument for the 10th Amendment and for letting the states find a solution to their problems, this may be at the top of the class," Perry said. "A government-run healthcare system is financially unstable. It’s not the solution."
Perry heartily backed an unsuccessful resolution in this year’s legislative session that would have affirmed the belief that Texas has sovereignty under the 10th Amendment over all powers not otherwise granted to the federal government.