Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Rick Perry’s States Rights Views Will Not Help You When You Cannot Get Health Care

Governor Rick Perry won’t be implementing ObamaCare in Texas.

From The Texas Tribune

“Texas will not expand Medicaid or establish a health insurance exchange, two major tenets of the federal health reform that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld last month, Gov. Rick Perry said in an early morning announcement. “I stand proudly with the growing chorus of governors who reject the Obamacare power grab,” he said in a statement. “Neither a ‘state’ exchange nor the expansion of Medicaid under this program would result in better ‘patient protection’ or in more ‘affordable care.’ They would only make Texas a mere appendage of the federal government when it comes to health care. ….The governor will appear on Fox News at 10:30 a.m. to talk more about his decision.

Texas is first in the nation in the rate of uninsured persons and last in many measures of the provision of health care.

You would think that a so-called “pro-life” Governor would be glad for the chance to expand Medicaid to the working poor.

But Governor Perry and the extremist Texas Republican Party is more concerned with states rights/libertarian ideology than it is with helping people get health coverage from the health care reform that has been passed by Congress and affirmed by the Supreme Court.

Read here for yourself what ObamaCare will do for everyday Americans. 

Extreme states rights views will not help you when you or a family member cannot get care.

July 9, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Key Texas Republican Admits Medicaid Pullout Will Leave People Homeless—What We Can Do To Fight This

Texas is facing a budget deficit of at least $ 18 billion.

Texas Republicans say pulling the state out of Medicaid is an option for the 2011 legislative session to address this deficit.

While some Republicans maintain the fiction this can be done without making people homeless, the chairman of the Texas House Appropriations Committee, Jim Pitts, at least tells the truth.

From the Houston Chronicle

“Some Republicans who talk about Texas potentially opting out of Medicaid are quick to say the changes wouldn’t throw people out on the street — but not House Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Pitts. Pitts didn’t advocate the change in health care for the poor at a meeting of the Ellis County Tea Party, just noted that it will be discussed by lawmakers. But unlike others who have painted a rosy picture of a potential health-care restructuring without filling in the details, Pitts gave a stark answer when an audience member asked about an ill friend who is on Medicaid. The questioner reacted with concern when Pitts said the state is looking at getting out of the program. What will my friend do then? Will you throw him out in the street? “If we did exactly what we’re doing today, we wouldn’t be throwing him out in the street. But if we have any savings in getting out of Medicaid, we will have to throw some people out in the street,” said Pitts, R-Waxahachie. He noted, “I’m not telling you that your friend would be.”

If pulling out of Medicaid takes place and when, as a consequence, people are out on the streets, who do you think will pay for that? The medical costs and likely police costs of such persons will be paid for by cities and counties.

As you see from the newspaper article above, even Tea Party followers are concerned that they and the people they know in life will be impacted by these cuts. (Though what did they ever expect?)

Texas has a so-called Rainy Day Fund that could help address this budget crisis. There is over $8 billion in this fund right now.

And let’s be clear, the reason this big deficit did not occur in the last legislative session in 2009 was because of federal stimulus money and money from other federal funds.

What can be done to prevent these types of deficits and these proposed radical solutions from taking place in the future?

Here are some ideas—

* We could have a tax structure that meets the needs of the second largest state in our federal union. An income tax would make a lot of sense.

* Texas Republicans holding public office  could truthful about the fact that we take plenty of federal money all the time, and Texas could work in partnership with the federal government instead refighting the Civil War.

* Rank and file Texas Republicans could acknowledge to themselves that they use public services all the time in daily life and that many Republicans in Texas use Medicaid program.

* Hispanics in Texas taken as whole could start to meet the personal responsibility of voting and of taking full part in the politics and the public policy debates of our state.

* Progressives in Texas could begin to really fight instead of being resigned to Republican rule. We are not meeting our obligations to Texas and to the nation.  Where is the organizing and the energy from our side that we saw from the Tea Party people in this last election?

* We could all understand that taxes are a necessity in life and that we have obligations to others in this world. Realizing these things in no way conflicts with the need to have a job and to meet your obligations to yourself and to your family.

* All Texans could decide that we want to live in a decent state where we do not toss people out on the street because they get sick.

(Fellow Houston & Texas blogger Charles Kuffner also addresses these issues. Also, Tea Party blogger David Jennings sees no value in Texas leaving Medicaid.)

November 29, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two Weeks After Election, Republican Focus Remains On Everything But Jobs & Economy

It has been two weeks since Republicans made significant  gains across the country on Election Day.

The focus of the election was jobs and the economy. 56% of folks in a recent CBS News poll say the most important issue for the new Congress is jobs and the economy.

Yet as millions of Americans still deal with unemployment and underemployment, the Republican focus is on everything but jobs and the economy. Where incoming Republican governors have addressed jobs, it is to kill jobs by refusing already approved federal dollars for high-speed rail infrastructure projects.


* Republicans in control of the House of Representatives are planning nearly 300 investigations of President Obama. The last time a Republican House went after a Democratic President, it led to a destructive impeachment process. What excesses will we see this time?

* Newly-elected Republican Governors are killing high-speed rail projects that will create jobs. In Wisconsin, soon-to-be Governor  Scott Walker received large amounts of campaign cash from road builders who have a direct interest in stopping rail projects. Wisconsin had an unemployment rate of 7.8% in September.

* The Republican President of the Kentucky State Senate, David Williams, declared his allegiance to the Tea party and said  he supported repeal of the 17th Amendment to the Constitution. This amendment allows for the direct election of  U.S. Senators. Mr. Williams believes that returning election of Senators back to state legislatures would move our nation back to the limited measure of popular sovereignty first written into the constitution.  Many Tea Party supporters back this position.

Do you want to give your vote for United States Senator away? This is Tea party extremism in action.  In September of 2010, Kentucky had an unemployment rate of 10. 1%. Yet what the Republican President of the State Senate is discussing is no longer allowing the public to vote for U.S. Senate.

* In Texas, Governor Rick Perry and Republicans in the state legislature are considering pulling out of Medicaid and out of the Children’s Health Insurance Program. This is being considered even though 3.6 million Texans use these programs. You can be certain that many in Republican rural Texas use these programs. Is this what these folks were voting for earlier this month? We’ll see about that when people find out that benefits are being cut.

What about all the people in Texas who work in jobs connected to health care? With such drastic cuts in funding, where will these people find work? Isn’t it good and honest work to be employed in health care so people can get better and go on with life? Where will we have any jobs in this society if we go after everything?

The leader of the U.S. House Tea Party Caucus, Rep. Michele Bachmann, spent her time spreading a lie that President Obama’s trip to India was costing 200 million dollars a day. This assertion was simply not true.

What exactly  is the point of undermining the President of the United States as he goes to visit a globally important nation like India?

For Republicans in Washington and in states across the nation, this election was not about jobs and the economy. Instead, the election was about extreme ideology that puts the jobs and the health of the American people at risk.

Anger at Washington is not going to get you a job. It is not going to pay the bills if you get sick. The Republican bait-and-switch is in already in evidence. These folks have no constructive thoughts.  It is the same anger-driven politics that led to President Clinton’s impeachment and to the placement of Sarah Palin on the national ticket two years ago.

It’s up to all of us to be aware of what is taking place, and to make sure that Congress is focused on jobs and the economy and not on sideshow hearings and ideological tangents.

November 16, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Texas Legislature Quickly Getting To The Work Of Afflicting The Least Amongst Us

The newly empowered majorities in the Texas Legislature are considering pulling out of Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

Doing so would—In the view of the far-right— have the double-barreled effect of possibly saving money—If only in the short-term and at great human cost—and finding yet another way to stick it to Washington.

(Below–Double-barreled rifle. Photo by Commander Zulu. )

It is estimated that 3.6 million Texans use Medicaid and CHIP.

Here is the Texas Medicaid web page. Here is CHIP web page.

A state program would possibly be established to replace participation in federal programs.

Yet since leaving these programs would end the federal match, Texans would suffer.

Does anyone think that Texas would set up a program that would really help people?

Of course, the goal here is to save money and make a point that Texas can do whatever it wants no matter who it hurts.

Whether this would save money for cities and counties is another question. Who would care for people who need help?

Texas leads the nation in the percentage of people without health insurance.

This is what Texas has become. This is what our friends, family and neighbors who voted Republican asked for at the ballot box.

Maybe not every person who voted Republican understood what they were going to get, but these are the facts.

In the hard slog ahead, those of us who don’t want to live in a barbaric place are just going to have to do our best to spread the word.

Spreading the word involves communicating to those we know what is going on. This has to be a constant effort. Many people just pay attention at election time. People need to be aware of the facts before the heat of an election.

It would also be good if those who most need the help would better meet the personal responsibility of voting in every election.

November 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments