February 11, 2022/Media, Press

Republicans Continue to Deny Texans Access to Health Care, Despite the Ongoing Battle with COVID-19

AUSTIN, Texas —Today, the Lone Star State marks a solemn point in the COVID-19 pandemic with over 80,000 lives lost. These were fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters who will be missed by loved ones and friends. As we have seen over the course of this deadly pandemic, accessible health care plays a vital role in the outcome of those impacted by COVID-19. And no other group has suffered or experienced more loss of life than our communities of color.  The disparity is especially evident among Texas Latinos who make up 39% of the state’s population, but represent nearly 45% of COVID-19 deaths, according to state data as of Feb. 3, 2022.

Despite the overwhelming evidence that shows many lives could have been saved if Texans had adequate access to health care coverage, Governor Abbott and Republicans in the State Legislature refuse to act by expanding Medicaid. Unfortunately, Republican inaction has left nearly 1.4 million Texans without access to high quality affordable health insurance. Instead they continue to show loyalty to big interest instead of stepping up and serving Texans.

Texas Republicans continue to refuse the expansion of Medicaid to those who desperately need subsidized healthcare. According to a poll, nearly 70% of Texans support Medicaid expansion  which is not only common decency, but also common sense. Texas leads the nation in the number of uninsured residents. Democrats have fought for years to get Texas to expand Medicaid eligibility and help the most vulnerable Texans get access to health care. By unlocking billions of federal dollars to help with health care costs, the change would be a boon for the state’s economy — helping to keep premiums down for everyone, keep rural hospitals open, address racial injustice in the health care system, and keep families across the state healthy.

Republicans’ longtime refusal to extend health care to Texans who need it is pure political posturing. Because Texas Republicans consistently put politics above our health, lives, and livelihoods,the state has said no to at least $9 billion in federal funds to help insure more Texans. 

Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:

All Texans deserve to know that they will not fall into financial ruin should they become sick, yet during a global pandemic, our state’s Republican leaders have failed to show compassion and meet this critical moment. Expansion of Medicaid would not only boost the health of Texans as we continue to grapple with the impact of COVID-19, but it would also boost our state’s economy and make huge investments in our state’s health infrastructure. Investments that could prove lifesaving for communities who are traditionally underserved and overlooked. The denial by Texas Republicans of this basic right for health care to nearly a million Texas residents is a callous and heartless example of their lack of empathy for humanity.  

“This failed leadership by Texas Republicans is why we must vote them out this November. We must ensure the health and safety of all Texans. Texas Democrats are at the forefront of this fight for Medicare and Medicaid expansion and we will keep fighting for affordable access to health care, because that’s what it means to put Texans first.”