I invited two Texas Conservative Republicans to my Progressive program Politics Done Right to have a civil conversation. I think we showed if we open doors of dialogue at the grassroots, we can make progress. The discussion about Texas lawmakers effectively killing many of its citizens drew the ire of one of our listeners.
Texas Republican attempts to defend lawmaker who harmed their citizens
A Texas Republican, David, who came to the program tried to defend lawmakers who denied their citizens' health care coverage under the Medicaid Expansion to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) causing the death of thousands of Texans. One of our listeners would have none of it.
I pointed out to David that it would have cost the state of Texas nothing for the first three years and only 10% of the cost thereafter if they had accepted the Medicaid Expansion to Obamacare. Sadly, their refusal to do that caused the deaths of thousands of Texans. I told him that act was evil and murderous.
While David did not dispute the facts, he said that the state of Texas takes care of the uninsured. He also said the state took care of his mother who had leukemia.
The reality, however, as I told him, is that Texas used to take care of its citizens but does so no more. A listener sent me the following email this morning.
I always listen to your Politics Done Right show while driving home after my art classes on Thursdays. Yesterday, I heard part of the show featuring your conservative couple. I was moved and angered by the story your guest told about his mother and how wonderful the State of Texas was by taking care of her through her illness. My biggest question is "How long ago did this occur?" It could not have been recent.
I have been trying to get help with my illness for a couple of years now. I have a tumor growing in my chest. There is no assistance for me. Here is what I have found. In the state of Texas, a health plan is offered called The Women's Health Plan. I do not qualify because of my age. I am 55 years old. In the state of Texas, I am not considered to be of any value because of my age. The plan will only cover women ages 15 - 44 or those with children under the age of 18.
I have also applied for the Harris County Gold Card for assistance with health care but have not had any response since sending them all of my financial information. Perhaps it just takes more time but I have applied twice without success. I applied for "Affordable Health Care" from the health care marketplace but the quote they gave me for insurance was more than I make in a year.
All of this has made me feel that not only the state of Texas but also the federal government doesn't care. I've thought about this long and hard. I have come to the conclusion that they have no incentive. I'm divorced (for more than 18 years) with grown offspring (no kids under 18) and self-employed as a visual artist. Since Harvey, I've had a very difficult time making ends meet. I conduct art classes at assisted living facilities to supplement my income since sales of original artwork are somewhat sporadic and unpredictable. I may not be able to continue the classes because I'm finding it more difficult to carry my equipment due to my health issue. This whole experience has left me broken.
I'm planning on moving in with my daughter because I have no one to care for me and cannot afford any more medical tests let alone surgery and treatment for my condition. I have not told many people about this because of my sense of shame. I did not ask for this, nobody does. I did not have health insurance since my divorce because I can't afford it and hadn't seen a doctor for more than 15 years.
How can your Republican guest justify this after having had help from the state for his mother? He described growing up in a lower-income household. My feeling is that years ago it was okay for the state to look after people but not today. Today, everybody is required to either take care of themselves or die. I did take care of myself until the double whammy, tumor, and Harvey. When did the Republican-run government become so hard-hearted? What is expected of us? GoFundMe for every illness? See if the public thinks I'm worth saving? What is your take on this?
A few years ago Congressman Alan Grayson said the following the Republicans view on health care.
Republicans understand that a health care plan based on not getting sick "isn't always going to work," so they "have a backup plan in case you do get sick." "If you get sick in America, this is what the Republicans want you to do: If you get sick America, the Republican health care plan is this: Die quickly," he said. "That's right, the Republicans want you to die quickly if you get sick."
That is not far from the reality. It is the same concept they have on Social Security, raise the age to ensure that you die to ensure you do not have to use too much of it. The only solution from a basic mathematical and ethical standpoint is a Medicare for All single-payer health care system. Read up on it and force your politician to adopt HR 676 or lose. It is time for Americans to fight for it.