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Texas' Sen. Hutchison: Let private companies add people to insurance rolls

Texas has the highest rate of uninsured residents in the country—25%, or about 6 million people—but it has thus far refused to take part in the portion of the health care law that sets up public exchanges where the public can buy health insurance. It was among the 26 states to sue the government to overturn the law. It is unclear how the state will react to the court's ruling on Medicaid expansion as well.

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, the first woman senator from Texas, sided with her fellow Republicans and Gov. Rick Perry in deriding the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the law. 

Appearing on Daily Rundown she suggested corporations and the states—despite Texas' record—could do a better job than the federal government on health care.

"I think you get more people into the [health care] system by letting private companies give health care to their employees in a responsible way," she told MSNBC host Chuck Todd.

Todd pressed the senator to explain her position given that most agree the previous system wasn't working. "There doesn't appear to be a lot of solutions coming out of the state of Texas, so at some point isn't it the federal government's problem?" Todd asked.

"We do have a catastrophic pool in Texas so that after about a $10,000 expenditure people do get that coverage, so that's one thing that's available in Texas," Hutchison said. "I think the states can come up with, and frankly Texas could come up with more options and more plans for people."

So...private companies, last-resort catastrophic coverage, and action from states with historically poor performances on health care are going to solve our problems?


Republicans immediately issued a coordinated counter-attack campaign on the law by latching on to the idea that the law is just a new tax on Americans.

Hutchison's statement following the ruling was no exception. “The court’s ruling confirms the president’s healthcare law is nothing more than a massive tax on the American people," she wrote.

Also peppered among Republicans talking points are the words "freedom" and "choice" and how the government is stealing those things away.  

GOP House leadership has scheduled a symbolic vote to repeal the law—symbolic, because neither the Democratic-controlled Senate, nor the president will join them in that effort. 

Still, House majority leader Eric Cantor believes he has a shot at overturning the law IF Republicans gain ground in the Senate come fall. Appearing on Morning Joe Friday he said: "If we can see a Republican victory in the Senate, the Congress I am convinced will overturn the Obamacare law through the reconciliation process with the 51-vote margin."