A screenshot of a short text conversation between a Texas voter and someone with Americans for Property Action, a Koch-funded super PAC supporting Rep. Chip Roy, is making the rounds on social media.
It shows the super PAC making a basic canvassing text on behalf of Roy, boasting about his fight for greater access to quality health care.
When the voter on the receiving end responds, telling the super PAC they’re currently out of work and asking how Roy suggests they should get quality health care, the reply is short: “find a job.”
The Texas voter who spoke to the Signal, and lives in Texas’ 21st congressional district where Democratic candidate Wendy Davis is challenging Roy, asked to remain anonymous in our reporting.
She said she was laid off from her job as a user interface designer in January and has had to dip into her savings to pay $600 a month for COBRA, an expensive insurance option for former employees to continue benefits when laid off.
“I was just surprised because honestly, I was really curious about the Republican position,” she said. “There’s so many unemployed, what’s their opinion on what people should be doing for health insurance. So I was just expecting any kind of professional response.”
She said her employment benefits at her new job don’t kick in until September and will have to continue to pay COBRA.
“COBRA is some sort of sick joke,” she said. “Pay more for your health insurance while not receiving a paycheck. And anyone assuming that most people have rainy day savings to be able to do this is completely out of touch. I lived paycheck to paycheck during the first six years out of college and even it was near impossible to save. Health insurance should not be tied to employment.”
She is among 659,000 Texans that have lost their health care during the pandemic, a disaster in a state which already had the highest uninsured rate in the nation. Her district, which stretches from Austin to San Antonio, is one of the most competitive districts in 2020. Texas Senate filibustering legend Wendy Davis is off to a good start and has so far outraised incumbent Roy by $1.2 million. The race is currently viewed as a tossup by political observers in and outside Texas.
Whatever mounting woes exist throughout Texas and Roy’s district, the one-term congressman seems unconcerned: Roy made headlines on Thursday after he said the COVID pandemic was a hoax meant to hurt the Republicans.
“It is all about November and all about reclaiming power in November,” Roy said during an appearance on a right-wing radio show. “And I think on November 4, there’ll be a magic awakening on how we suddenly beat the virus.”
Photo: Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons
Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org