Texas Gov. Rick Perry's (R) office responded late Tuesday to TPM's article on his administration's slow-walking of an Affordable Care Act provision, a move that could potentially turn over the authority to the federal government.
In an email, Perry's spokesperson Allison Castle says Texas is merely seeking to be "thorough, complete, and accurate" in reviewing its insurance company practices, although she doesn't clarify whether the state will honor the Affordable Care Act statute, which the governor has been reluctant to do.
Texas conducts rate reviews independent of the creation of a healthcare insurance exchange, and does so in a way that creates regulatory certainty. To say that Texas is “biding its time” on rate reviews in inaccurate. When insurance companies file rates they are very rarely, if ever, complete filings. The rate filing is really the beginning of the process for TDI to conduct its rate review. It is much better for our regulatory agency to be thorough, complete, and accurate in its rate review than it is to be quick.
Rate reviews in Texas are determined by whether a rate is actuarially sound, whereas the standard under Obamacare is an arbitrary “unreasonable” determination that does not provide clarity or certainty to the marketplace.