As someone who loves living in Texas as much as I do, it always surprises me that it’s the state with the highest rate of uninsured individuals overall, and the highest rate of uninsured children. Oftentimes, uninsured Texans are left with no other choice but to receive care in the emergency room, an expensive last resort. When they can’t pay the bill, we all pay through increased health care premiums, the very same premiums that are rising faster here than in almost any other state.
The Affordable Care Act is a beacon of hope for Texas and the rest of the nation. It protects people from insurance companies who take advantage of them by increasing costs and denying people coverage because they are sick or have a pre-existing condition. Since 2010, it has provided millions of people with fair health care options that promote prevention and prevent discrimination. Already, 7.5 million Texans have experienced direct benefits from the Affordable Care Act. This includes:
- nearly 4 million who got preventative care with no co-pay
- over 300,000 young adults who were able to stay on their parents’ health plans
- 5,000 Texans with a pre-existing condition, for whom the law meant needed coverage
Millions of people breathed a huge sigh of relief today. The Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act means children with pre-existing conditions can still get the coverage they need, young adults can stay on their parents’ plan, and small business owners will still receive tax credits for covering employees. Uninsured people like me can still look forward to 2014 when the health care exchange program begins, and health care will finally become an affordable reality to millions.
Lets celebrate today and get to work tomorrow. We will have to watch and make sure our Texas leaders do what they can so Texas families have the same chance to receive good health care through the Medicaid program that families in other states will have. With the federal government covering at first all of the cost (and later 90% of the cost) for Texans to get this coverage, there is no reason to make today’s ruling into an excuse to deliver less for people here in our state.
Additionally, we need to make sure our Texas leaders act immediately and start implementing the law. A significant step is getting the exchange set-up so over 6 million currently uninsured Texans and hundreds of Texas small businesses can access good healthcare coverage at prices they can afford. Setting up a health insurance exchange that is specifically for our state would guarantee Texas has an exchange that meets our unique needs.
Today I love Texas and our country more than ever. I’m proud to say we will all be part of a more healthy, affordable and sustainable future. And if that’s not a reason to celebrate, than I don’t know what is!
Since celebrating is always more fun when you can do it with others, join us this evening at our rally for good health care. The rally will be at 11th street and Congress from 5:30-6. Can’t wait to see you there!
Posted By: Liz Moskowitz, Texans Care for ChildrenPosted in The Texas Treatment|Tagged ACA, Obamacare, SCOTUS|