(in response to email from Rep. Lon Burnam, reprinted below my comment)
I believe that the best way to provide health care for the majority of Americans is to expand on Medicare, not Medicaid.
In Medicare, people have contributed in part to the services they receive from it. With Medicaid, most get this free from taxpayers.
The rules and reviews of the 2 programs need to be administered very differently. There is too much fraud and corruption going on with both programs and it needs to be fixed before we increase the efforts.
In addition, there are still approximately 20 million illegal immigrants in our nation. Much of the data on these people is undocumented and therefore many receive free or reduced medical and educational services paid for by American taxpayers.
While I am not a racist or self-centered or uncaring, I don’t think it's right that taxpayers should continue pay for people and their children here illegally and undocumented. Many people disagree with me, but I remain firm that there should be a better way than to give such people an ongoing free ride.
Furthermore, other nations e.g., Mexico, India, Saudi Arabia, China, etc., do not give Americans reciprocity if they are living in those nations without becoming legal residents, working legally and participating in repaying for services. Illegals in those nations are fined and incarcerated.. period!
I believe we need to deal with these issues BEFORE we approve any new medical platform like expanding Medicaid.
Obamacare is a huge document filled with information that few have fully read and understood. There is much in this program that is not beneficial to Americans and it should not be pushed through without reality-based understanding and agreement.
At least that's what I think. What do you think?
from Rep. Lon Burnam
I wanted to update you on one of the most important issues to be decided this legislative session: Medicaid.
Under the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), millions of Americans – and 1.5 million Texans – are funded to be enrolled in Medicaid, where they will have a primary care physician and preventative healthcare, rather than being treated in costly emergency rooms. In the first three years of the program, the federal government is offering to cover 100% of the cost of the expansion, and 90% after that.
This Medicaid expansion would be vitally important to women’s healthcare in Texas. After the cutbacks and Planned Parenthood prohibition of the last legislative session, working-class women in Texas are in dire need of healthcare, and this would enroll hundreds of thousands of them in a program where they will have regular access to a physician. As I said, this is one of the most important issues this session.
However, Governor Perry and many Republicans in the Legislature are blocking the legislation, refusing to accept this literally free money from the federal government, because it’s “Obamacare.” Not accepting the funding will not save one dollar off the federal deficit, because the funding will just be redistributed to other states for them to insure their citizens with billions in Texas taxpayer money. It is insane.
I have a bill that would expand Medicaid, HB 59, that is actually based on the proposal by Republican Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, one of many Republican governors to accept the funding. You can read the case for the expansion in this Fort Worth Star-Telegram op-ed, and see the editorial board’s plea for compromise here.
Also, you may not be aware that I and my district staff are holding regular meetings on women’s healthcare in Tarrant County between advocates, community leaders and healthcare providers. If you would like to get email updates on those meetings and be invited to attend, please email my District Director at Josie.Martinez@house.state.tx.us.
I will continue to fight for healthcare for women and all Texans down in Austin. Stay tuned.