healthy families are strong families
Very few topics are as heated as healthcare, and for good reason. Nothing can scare a family more than an unexpected illness. I should know, when my father passed away, it left a hole in my family's life that we will never be able to replace. Everyone should have access to healthcare - to take proactive care of ourselves and our families and to help support us in our time of need.
So what does that mean?
As taxpayers, we have already paid for the Medicaid expansion, which benefits all members of the community, even those who already have healthcare. The State of Texas is missing out on about $60 billion dollars that we have already paid for and that Congress shows no sign of repealing. If Louisiana, Arkansas, Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana, North Dakota, Montana, Arizona can expand Medicaid in a way that's good for their states, why can't we do it for Texas?
How does taking advantage of the Medicaid expansion support stronger families?
- The Medicaid expansion supports families with children with different needs, especially those with intellectual and developmental challenges. There are over 130,000 children across Texas (and over 600 here in the Bay Area) on waiting lists for our state Medicaid waiver programs (i.e. CLASS, Star Plus, DBMD, HCS, MDCP). These programs provide critical support to our friends, family and neighbors. It is unconscionable that many families stay on these waiting lists for more than a decade, sometimes two.
- The Medicaid expansion supports mothers. Today, our maternal mortality rate is higher than it was in the 1990s and a large part of that problem is lack of access to prenatal and post-partum care. Expanding Medicaid will help support our mothers and strengthen our families.
- The Medicaid expansion supports small businesses by ensuring that minimum wage workers get health insurance for them and their families. With competitive pressures from big businesses, helping small businesses provide health insurance to their employees would work to create a more even playing field. It's about creating diverse opportunities for all.
- The Medicaid expansion supports our burgeoning regional medical center. Our area has benefited greatly from the expansion of our medical community. We have many great hospitals including Houston Methodist, Memorial Hermann, UTMB, Kindred, Bay Area Regional and Clear Lake Regional. These are our friends and neighbors and they should be compensated for the care they provide to our community.
- The Medicaid expansion reduces premiums for our community and allows free markets to function. Ensuring that our healthcare providers are compensated for the care they provide to our community creates an opportunity for insurance companies to lower premiums. Why? Because the healthcare providers can charge Medicaid for providing service, as opposed to charging the insurance companies. When insurance companies are able to lower their premiums, consumers and businesses have better options and can make better choices.
As our society continues to evolve, so do our healthcare needs, and that includes our mental health needs. We must continue to invest in our mental health care programs so that each of us can get the necessary help we need. Mental health care professionals are an important resource, as are those in our faith communities, to help us respond to the very real challenges that we all face every day. We can pay for these services by taxing something we might a little less of, bullets.
No healthcare providers are allowed to use government funds to perform abortions. In order to maximize the impact of our dollars, we must support health care providers in supplying the broad range of necessary and preventative health care they provide for women in the Bay Area and across the State of Texas.