When it comes to access for health care, Texas ranks as the worst state in the nation, according to a recent study by WalletHub. That same study found Texas ranks 51 out of 51 out of states with the lowest percent of adults with health insurance (Washington D.C. is included in the study). Texas ranks 49 out of 51 for the lowest percent of children with health insurance.
While Texans continue to struggle to get health care, politicians like State Representative Jose M. Lozano (R – Kingsville) use their votes to keep insurance expensive and out of reach.
The counties in Lozano’s district – Bee, Jim Wells, San Patricio, and Kleberg – have nearly 20 percent of their population uninsured. During the 85th legislature, Jose M. Lozano could have helped, but Lozano opposed Amendment 118 to expand health insurance access and lowered healthcare costs, hurting his constituents and people in every part of Texas.
Voting for the Medicaid expansion would have brought $6.2 billion to Texas hospitals in one year. Independent studies show expanding Medicaid could bring over $100 billion in federal funding to the state for the long term and create up to 300,000 jobs.
It’s estimated that more than a million uninsured Texans would have access to health care under the expansion. Instead, programs and services to the most vulnerable in Texas will have to be cut. Lozano doesn’t view lack of health care as a top priority and seems fine with hospitals denying services to Texans.
The question is why Lozano and his colleagues would stand in the way of expanding healthcare to more than a million Texas families, and so many people in his district? Part of the answer may be Lozano has taken $47,000 from pharmaceutical companies, physicians and other health care institutes who oppose efforts to reduce premiums or expand coverage outside the private market. Regardless, Texans need to make it clear to their representatives they want better access and options for healthcare, and they want to Reform Austin.
Health care for more Texans could bring more business to the state too. Politicians like Lozano vote against the Medicaid expansion however and continue to deny millions of Texans health insurance. Lozano seems to be too busy taking money from special interest groups and hiding who his campaign contributors are to the Texas Ethics Commission.