Statewide Texans demand action on health care from lawmakers
AUSTIN, TEXAS — A coalition of grassroots Texas activists today launched #SickOfItTX, an organizing campaign aimed to channel the frustrations of everyday Texans about the sad state of health coverage. #SickOfItTX gives activists an outlet to unite across political divides and demand meaningful action by state lawmakers on health care coverage.
The #SickOfItTX campaign is organizing Texans in the following ways:
- Nonpartisan training program led by Children’s Defense Fund-Texas for Texans who want to organize their communities and make sure 2020 candidates have a plan for improving healthcare access.
- Hundreds to hit the streets in statewide weekend of action including “Block Walks for Health Care” on November 9-10.
Year after year, Texas holds the indefensible record of having the worst uninsured rate in the nation. According to the latest report from the U.S. Census Bureau, both the number and rate of uninsured Texans continues to rise and Texans are sick of it. We’re sick of struggling to get access to health care. We’re sick of high maternal mortality rates. Sick of rural hospitals closing. Sick of medical bankruptcies.
Even though more than 5 million Texans are uninsured, session after session our elected leaders have done little to provide relief to Texans who struggle to get health coverage.
“The most vulnerable Texans are also the ones who suffer most when our legislators choose inaction on health care,” said Laura Guerra-Cardus, deputy director of the Children’s Defense Fund-Texas and program lead for #SickOfItTX. “We cannot allow Texas to fall even further behind the rest of the nation when it comes to protecting our children and women of childbearing age — quite literally the future of our state.”
“There is a mismatch between what Texans want and need and what the legislature has been willing to do when it comes to health care,” added Anne Dunkelberg, Associate Director at the Center for Public Policy Priorities, a #SickOfItTX program partner. “Ninety-one percent of Texans say the state should play a role in a functioning healthcare system, but most state leaders have never acknowledged our worst-in-the-nation health coverage challenge.”
“We know Texans are sick of the state of health care, but many have felt powerless to change it,” continued Sofia Sepulveda, Health Care Justice Organizer at Texas Organizing Project. “We are committed to giving Texans the megaphone, so legislators will hear them loud and clear.”
So far, the #SickOfItTX campaign has recruited dozens of activists across Texas, from El Paso to Tyler, Garland to Pearland, and other major metro areas. The reasons folks choose to get involved are often very personal.
“I had a blood clot in my brain and nearly lost my life. If I hadn’t qualified to stay on my mom’s public school teacher health insurance, the medical bills would have devastated my entire life trajectory and spiraled me into bankruptcy. It haunts me that so many Texans are fighting for their lives and have to be worried about how they’re going to PAY to keep their lives,” shared Amanda Posson, #SickOfItTX healthcare advocate in Austin, Texas.
“My daughter Olivia (4), was born with spastic cerebral palsy when we lived in Virginia. Our insurance premiums were reimbursed (for the whole family, not just Olivia’s portion!), she was given additional coverage to the point of never paying out of pocket for ANYTHING, and we were even lucky enough to have a healthcare attendant. Now, we live in a part of Texas with little to no resources, much less support. In Texas, Olivia is number 10,371 on a waitlist for even the minimum amount of state support, and we pay twice as much for our insurance, which only covers a small fraction of what she needs. We’re paying hundreds of dollars for basic therapies and thousands for equipment that is required for her to live. We’re motivated. We’re fighting for this beautiful baby girl because what happens when we’re gone? Who fights for her then?” shared Chelsea Anders, #SickOfItTX healthcare advocate in Lubbock, Texas.
During the 2019 Texas legislative session, state leaders once again failed to expand healthcare coverage to more Texans. We continue to have the nation’s worst uninsured rate for adults, for kids, and for women of childbearing age — with often devastating consequences. #SickOfItTX is a nonpartisan coalition of passionate advocates and grassroots leaders fighting for expanded healthcare access in Texas. Go to sickofittx.org for more information.
#SickOfItTX is honored to have the support of the following organizations:
|Personal Attendant Coalition of Texas
For more information, contact #SickOfItTX program partner Lisa Goodgame at email@example.com or 512-828-9489.