On October 22, TARA members joined Dallas Texas Organizing Project members at a rally and press conference to EXPAND MEDICAID! Below are the remarks of Field Organizer Judy Bryant which she made at the event.
The Texas Alliance for Retired Americans is part of the 4.5 million member national ARA and represents over 105,000 members in Texas. Last summer on July 31, across the country, the ARA celebrated the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson signing Medicare/Medicaid into law. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation report, today Medicaid coversover 70 million Americans and is the main source of coverage and financing for both nursing home and community based long term care, mainly for seniors and retirees.
The federal government has offered $100 million to Texas for Medicaid Expansion, but
it has been refused by Govs Perry and Abbott and we continue the shameful ranking as the state with the worst uninsured rate in the country with 5.7 million or 22% of our population lacking health insurance. One million Texans would be covered if the state expanded Medicaid. Until this happens, large numbers of our poorest citizens, which include many seniors and retirees, will continue to be caught in the “coverage gap” or those who earn less than 100% of the federal poverty level and therefore cannot qualify for subsidies on the exchange. As a result, those one million Texans will not receive preventative care. Without expansion, the emergency room will continue to be the primary place where they seek care.
The Texas Alliance for Retired Americans believes it is unconscionable to turn our backs on millions of uninsured Texans-both young and old! We work with many groups who continue to fight for Medicaid Expansion and these coalitions working together will be the keys to success. TARA is proud to join the Texas Organizing Project to tell Gov. Greg Abbott-“The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You-All The LIVE LONG DAY! SO WE DEMAND THAT YOU EXPAND MEDICAID TO GIVE ALL TEXANS A CHANCE TO DO JUST THAT-LIVE LONG! THE EYES OF TEXAS ARE UPON YOU-YOU CANNOT GET AWAY!”