Texas Groups: State of the State Missed the Mark on Health

Texas Groups: State of the State Missed the Mark on Health

(AUSTIN, Texas) - Cover Texas Now, a coalition of consumer and faith-based organizations, in response to Governor Perry’s State of the State speech, reminded state lawmakers that Texas children and young adults with pre-existing conditions, as well as seniors on Medicare, are already benefitting from health care reforms. As such, they urged the Governor and state legislators not to let Washington's intensely partisan debate over health care derail key implementation decisions here in Texas.

Families like UT student Isbah Raja’s would lose big if health reform were repealed. Isbah has Lupus and was rejected for insurance coverage even before her diagnosis. Her parents finally found a more expensive family plan that covers her pre-existing condition. Isbah was facing the loss of that coverage after her upcoming graduation, but under the federal health reform law she now can stay on her current plan through age 26, and know that she is safe from being dropped from coverage.

Millions of Texans are already benefitting from health insurance improvements implemented in the past 12 months. For example:

  • 161,000 young adults now have insurance through their parents’ health plans
  • None of Texas’ 11.8 million residents with private insurance coverage need to fear lifetime limits placed on what insurance companies will spend on their health care.
  • 162,869 Medicare recipients are enjoying more affordable prescription drug costs.
  • Texans can live healthier lives because all new insurance plans now cover recommended preventive services, like mammograms and flu shots, and provide access to OB-GYN services without a referral.
  • Nearly 2.8 million seniors in Texas with Medicare coverage have new access to preventive care, including lifesaving procedures like colonoscopies
  • Big employers like American Airlines, HEB, and Shell Oil are now receiving assistance to help pay for the high cost of retiree health benefits.

“Texas consumers and their wallets are already healthier thanks to health insurance reform,” said coalition member and Texas Impact executive director Bee Moorhead. “Lawmakers should embrace the benefits of reform and commit to maximizing those benefits for Texans.”

“Health reform will allow Texas to provide affordable, comprehensive health coverage to 95 percent of Texas children, allowing them to grow up healthy, miss fewer days of school and improve academic outcomes and long-term success,” said Laura Guerra-Cardus, associate director for the Children’s Defense Fund – Texas. “Providing health care through insurance coverage and primary care doctors is far cheaper for Texans and far better for children than relying on costly emergency rooms."

With smart implementation of health reform, Texas can gain more federal funds than any other state, bringing $120 billion into Texas -- according to the state Comptroller -- and generating over $250 billion in economic activity from 2014 - 2019.

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ADAPT of Texas
 National MS Society - Lone Star
Advocacy, Inc.
 Methodist Healthcare Ministries
Center for Public Policy Priorities
 Texans Care for Children
Consumers Union - Southwest Regional Office Texas AFL-CIO
Children's Defense Fund - Texas Texas Impact
La Fe Policy and Education Center Texas Organizing Project
La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE) TexPIRG


  • Quality affordable health insurance available for every Texan
  • Sustainable health care system
  • Long term services and supports provided in the most integrated setting possible
  • Maximum federal funding for Texas health care by preserving CHIP and Medicaid
  • Improved small business’ access to affordable health insurance
  • Common-sense protections for Texas health insurance consumers in state law
  • Transparent, open systems that meet consumers’ needs