Yesterday, the Texas Democratic Party held a virtual press conference regarding the state of healthcare in Texas. State leaders and candidates emphasized just how dangerous the Republican Party is when it comes to healthcare.
Texas leads the nation in the level of uninsured, and COVID-19 has exacerbated the problems and inequities within the healthcare system. Before COVID-19, one out of five Texans lacked health insurance. With thousands of Texans losing healthcare through lost jobs, now the number of uninsured has reached one out of three. More than 650,000 Texans have lost healthcare since the COVID-19 pandemic started earlier this year.
The state is also leading the charge in repealing the Affordable Care Act. The Supreme Court will be hearing the case against the ACA the week after the November election. Millions of Texans have preexisting conditions, which would no longer be protected if the ACA is dismantled.
Sima Ladjevardian, who is challenging Rep. Dan Crenshaw, has spoken about the importance of healthcare. Ladjevardian is a cancer survivor, and she credits early detection and the fact that she had insurance, with beating it. On yesterday’s call, she called out Crenshaw for turning his back on the district, especially since he ran on a platform of lowering drug prices, a campaign pledge he has now seemingly abandoned.
“Dan Crenshaw went to DC and broke a bunch of promises and has been spewing lies and disinformation,” said Ladjevardian. Crenshaw spoke at the RNC Convention last night with an impassioned defense of the Trump administration. Earlier this summer, Ladjevardian criticized Crenshaw for eschewing face masks and holding events with no social distancing.
Crenshaw isn’t alone in his aversion to following CDC protocols when it comes to COVID-19. Michele Beebe, an El Paso school nurse, who was featured at the DNC Convention, was also at the press conference. She spoke about the differences between the two parties when it comes to COVID-19. Watching the RNC Convention, Beebe was disturbed. “I didn’t see a lot of masks or social distancing.”
In Texas, several candidates and campaigns have been holding events without face masks or social distancing. The Travis County Republican Party is under investigation for their Reagan Gala Dinner last weekend. The Travis County fire marshal is looking into the event, which had over a hundred people packed together, with most not wearing face masks. Crenshaw attended the dinner, along with Sen. John Cornyn and Rep. Chip Roy.
Texas has passed a grim milestone with over 11,000 deaths from COVID-19 in the state. And for Texans who have recovered from COVID-19, they have a looming Supreme Court to worry about which threatens protections for preexisting conditions.
There’s a lot at stake in November, but healthcare is certainly an issue for most Texans. As Ladjevardian said at the press conference, “this American Dream is in jeopardy.”
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