Access to health care is a fundamental right—one that too many of our fellow North Texans have been denied for too long. Nearly 1 in 4 Dallas County residents—over 500,000 people—lack health coverage, and Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the nation. Many North Texans who do have insurance still must contend with high premiums, high deductibles, high drug prices, and huge out-of-pocket costs. And the spread of COVID-19 has only highlighted how our current health care system is failing too many North Texans.
Colin has stood up against partisan attacks to our health care and has worked hard to ensure that all North Texans have access to affordable, quality health care regardless of pre-existing conditions or their income. He led the fight in Congress to lower prescription drug prices for North Texans families. Colin also led the charge in Congress to secure the Garland VA Medical Center, which is already providing necessary services to veterans and treating veterans with COVID-19. The project will create an estimated 5,000 jobs as it adds services and staff over the next few years.
Texas is still home to the largest uninsured population in the country, and that number has only increased since the spread of COVID-19. We’ve made some progress to make affordable care more accessible. We can, and must, do better in this country. Health care isn’t a luxury item you can go without—it’s a matter of life and death. We must address the current health care crisis in Texas by building on the progress on the Affordable Care Act, expanding Medicaid and ensuring that every North Texan family has access to COVID-19 testing and support resources.
Stabilize and expand our health care markets: The ACA was an enormous step forward in expanding access to health care and ending abusive practices by insurance companies. No longer can insurers treat you differently because of a pre-existing condition or impose an annual or lifetime cap, and parents can now keep their children on their health insurance plans until they’re 26. Colin has led the charge in Congress to defend the ACA from partisan lawsuits in federal court and has voted for legislation to fix the ACA and expand access and lower costs across the board.
Lower the cost of prescription drugs by allowing direct negotiation: Colin voted for powerful new mechanisms to allow the Department of Health and Human Services the ability to negotiate lower drug costs for all Americans. The fight is not over and this is a top priority for Colin. North Texans need relief.
Create a public option: In order to expand coverage and lower costs, we must introduce more competition into the health care market by offering every American an option to buy into Medicare. Medicare’s low overhead costs and established provider networks can form the basis for an affordable, quality alternative that will compete with private insurers, driving down costs for everyone. Under this plan, existing sources of health insurance, including employer-provided insurance, will not be disturbed, and North Texans will be able to choose whether they want to keep their current insurance or buy into Medicare.
Protect and expand Medicaid: Medicaid provides critical healthcare to children, the disabled, and the elderly. Medicaid expansion could result in more than 1 million Texans gaining access to health care coverage.
Bolster the fight against HIV/AIDS: We have made tremendous strides in combating HIV/AIDS in recent decades, but there is still work to be done. In Congress, Colin has supported fully funding, and expanding, programs to educate, prevent, and treat HIV/AIDS. That includes programs that provide vital medical care for those with HIV who are uninsured or underinsured.