ALEX K ON THE ISSUES:
How we get taken care of when we get sick is a deeply personal and intimate experience, so it’s no wonder that most people feel strongly about our healthcare system. Healthcare is also one of our community’s biggest expenses – both for families and businesses.
With mental health needs on the rise, an opioid crisis and maternal mortality rates climbing to new levels, it’s important that we get our healthcare system right. We don’t have to choose between being fiscally responsible and ensuring that those with the gravest concerns are taken care of. It’s time we reform our healthcare system here in Texas and make sure no one is left behind.
It’s either rising health care premiums or ending coverage of pre-existing conditions.
As taxpayers, we have already paid for the Medicaid expansion, which benefits all members of the community, even those who already have healthcare. As Texans, we are missing out on about $65 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?
Economists always say there’s no such thing as a free lunch, but the Medicaid expansion is about the closest we can get. It’s time we expanded Medicaid, the Texas Way.
Accessing these funds would:
- 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.
- Support 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.
- Reduce 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.
- Support 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.
- Support 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.
It’s either reducing deeply emotional and personal decisions to a slogan or abdicating our responsibility to families.
As we’ve mentioned before, the current rate of maternal mortality in Texas is at historic highs. We need to do more to support women’s healthcare, expecting mothers and their newborns. It’s time we worked with all people who want to ensure the health and dignity of women, despite our philosophical disagreements on family planning.
There will always those that make decisions that we disagree with, sometimes very strongly. But part of treating our fellow citizens with dignity is respecting their right to make the decisions that fit their circumstances. We all live difficult, complicated, and often contradictory lives. And there are very few people that can make personal decisions better for us than ourselves. We make those choices based on the information we have and the consultation we receive from our family, friends, faith leaders, community members, and those we trust to give us information we do not have. So while we may disagree with some decisions, we must respect them as we respect each individual.
Paid for by Friends of Alex Karjeker / Alex Karjeker Campaign (TEC #00081372)
PO Box 57151
Webster, TX 77598