Unusual Suspects Call for Expanded Health Care in Texas

I don’t pay much attention when a car dealer tries to sell me extra products and services that I don’t need. But I listen closely when a prominent Republican elected official in Texas says we need to expand health care access for low-wage workers.

This month Harris County Judge Ed Emmett joined five other county judges to call for more health care coverage for our state’s working poor. The Texas Senate Health and Human Services Committee will need to carefully consider the growing need to address health care needs in Texas.

Over 1 million Texans who lack health insurance could gain coverage if Texas expanded Medicaid. There’s growing support for an effort to find a “Texas way” that provides insurance to the working poor. Such a solution nearly came together last legislative session, and a bipartisan group of Texas leaders is calling for action this session. Other states with Republican governors and legislative majorities have already negotiated custom-fitted approaches to closing this Coverage Gap, and Texas can do the same.

Texas is a special place, and we often like to do things our own way here. There are more and more voices coming together to say that providing insurance to hard-working Texans makes sense. It’s good for workers, families and our economy.

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