State of Texas Archives: on Health Care


Allen West: Opposed TX governor for COVID restrictions & accommodations

He took issue with Abbott's public health restrictions during a surge in coronavirus hospitalizations, decrying "the tyranny that we see in the great state of Texas." West joined with Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller in unsuccessfully suing Abbott over his decision to add an extra week of early voting to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. West joined with Miller again at a rally outside Abbott's residence in Austin calling on him to "Free Texas Now" from COVID-19 restrictions.
Source: Houston Chronicle on 2022 Texas Gubernatorial race Jul 6, 2021

Chad Prather: COVID: end mandates, contact tracing, & mask requirements

Source: 2021 Texas Gubernatorial campaign website Prather2022.com Jun 1, 2021

Don Huffines: COVID: opposed mask mandate; Texas reopened too slowly

He's been a vocal critic of Abbott's response to the coronavirus pandemic, blasting him for his statewide mask mandate and for not reopening Texas businesses quickly enough. Huffines spoke at an anti-lockdown "Free Texas" protest in front of the Governor's Mansion in October, and regularly calls the governor "King Abbott" in social media posts about Abbott's use of executive orders to put COVID rules in place.
Source: Houston Press on 2022 Texas Gubernatorial race May 11, 2021

Greg Abbott: We must focus on mental health challenges

If we are going to fully address COVID related health issues, we must also focus on the mental health challenges that Texans are facing. During the pandemic, we created a 24/7 mental health support line, provided crisis counseling, and established virtual access for behavioral services.

They were funded by the almost $8 billion that the Legislature devoted to mental health last session. I will work with the Legislature this session to ensure that Texas continues to address these challenges.

Source: 2021 State of the State Address to the Texas legislature Feb 2, 2021

Greg Abbott: Ensure coverage without being forced into the ObamaCare

Looking beyond just COVID, there is more we can do this session to ensure that Texans have better access to healthcare. That includes ensuring that Texans with pre-existing conditions have access to healthcare coverage without being forced into the Affordable Care Act.
Source: 2021 State of the State Address to the Texas legislature Feb 2, 2021

Allen West: Protested Governor's pandemic-related business closures

Governor Greg Abbott's bid for a third term will be the marquee contest in two years, and Beto O'Rourke or Julian Castro were among the names most discussed as potential Democratic challengers. But Abbott could also face a credible primary opponent, and the new Texas GOP chairman, Allen West, has stoked speculation that he could step up with his striking splits with the governor on his coronavirus response.

Until recently, Abbott has enjoyed broad statewide popularity. His approval ratings dropped this summer and he faced backlash from a handful of hardline conservatives in his party amid his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Much of the speculation about an Abbott primary challenge has centered on West, who has not ruled it out while grabbing attention with moves like suing Abbott over his extension of this November's early voting period and protesting outside the Governor's Mansion over pandemic-related business closures. [West publicized a GOP resolution urging "Open Texas NOW."]

Source: Texas Tribune on 2022 Texas Gubernatorial race Nov 23, 2020

MJ Hegar: Skyrocketing healthcare costs are unsustainable

Establish a public health insurance option. The best health care I've ever had was when I was on military-provided Tricare, similar to Medicare. During my five years working in health care, it was clear that our skyrocketing costs were unsustainable. I will fight for access to quality affordable health care for every Texan and for their right to determine whether that is Medicare or their private plan.
Source: The Texas Tribune on 2020 Texas Senate race Feb 12, 2020

MJ Hegar: Make high-quality care available to all Americans

We must create a public option to make Medicare available for all those who want it. The best health care I've ever had was when I was on military-provided Tricare, similar to Medicare, and I believe that kind of high-quality care should be made available to all Americans. Every child should be covered, period. We can and must protect the progress made by the Affordable Care Act while making much-needed improvements.
Source: 2020 Texas Senate campaign website MJforTexas.com Jan 20, 2020

Sema Hernandez: Supports Medicare for All; will re-introduce bill if needed

I support Medicare For All, as it is defined in US Senate Bill S.1129. This is the direct way to provide full healthcare benefits for everyone and raise the standard of healthcare in this country. I will re-introduce the bill, in its current form, if Sen. Sanders has not done so in 2020. The bill provides everyone with the same coverage, regardless of gender, socioeconomic status, race, religion, and other demographic status, eliminating premiums, copays, deductibles, and the Donut Hole.
Source: 2020 Texas Senate campaign website, Sema4Texas.com Jan 12, 2020

Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez: Supports Medicare for All

Cristina would support Medicare for All because it is the most efficient and cost effective way to make sure every American has quality healthcare, and it will allow small businesses and entrepreneurs to accelerate their growth instead of trying to worry about how to cover the cost of healthcare for themselves and their employees. By any measure, our current system has failed us. Cristina will build a healthcare system that works for people, not for profit.
Source: 2020 Texas Senate campaign website CristinaForTexas.com Dec 19, 2019

Royce West: Fought to expand Medicaid

We must stand together, as a nation, and say that healthcare is a basic human right, not a privilege reserved for only those who can afford it. That's why, for decades, in the Texas Senate, I have fought to expand Medicaid to our most vulnerable neighbors. No matter your circumstance, our nation benefits from healthy and productive people. I sponsored a bill in 2018 to expand Medicaid eligibility to our military heroes. Texas left millions without coverage by refusing Medicaid expansion.
Source: 2020 Texas Senate campaign website RoyceWest.com Dec 19, 2019

Royce West: Imperative that mental health services be included

It is imperative that mental health services don't fall through the cracks. We must continue educating people on the importance of mental health and include those services with basic healthcare packages. Introducing the importance of mental health to our children is a clear step we must take as a country. I authored multiple bills in the Texas Senate to not only include mental health services in our schools, but to also add mental health care as part of our curriculum.
Source: 2020 Texas Senate campaign website RoyceWest.com Dec 19, 2019

MJ Hegar: Provide Medicare-for-All as public option

Heathcare is another important topic for Hegar. She said she wants all her neighbors, family and friends to have access to Medicare, but also still leave people the option to choose their healthcare providers. "You know Texans are so proud of Texas, and it really rankles when we hear things about (Texas) maternal mortality rates ranking with third world counties," Hegar said. "Those things are really embarrassing to us Texans."
Source: KXAN Austin NBC-TV on 2020 Texas Senate race Nov 17, 2019

Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez: Every person should be able to go to a doctor

Another one of her key issues is health care. Texas has the highest uninsured rate in the country with one in six Texans not having healthcare. Tzintz£n Ramirez supports Medicare for all for that reason. "In the richest nation in the world, I think every person should be able to go to the doctor when they're sick and have the highest quality healthcare when they need it," Tzintz£n Ramirez said.
Source: KXAN-TV NBC on 2020 Texas Senate race Nov 10, 2019

Royce West: Expand Medicaid in Texas to cover all uninsured

West said his experience makes him the best choice. "I've worked to expand Medicaid in the state of Texas," he said. "We lead the country in the number of citizens that are uninsured. It needs to be a fundamental right, but understand this, you can't change this ship in one day."
Source: Dallas Morning News on 2020 Texas Senate debate Sep 5, 2019

Royce West: Not Medicare-for-All, but health care for all

I won't say Medicare for all, but I will say health care for all. Whoever becomes president is going to have a bill and I want to see the following principles: Health care becomes a basic human right. Preexisting conditions are covered. I want us to look at the Affordable Care Act, ObamaCare, and figure out where we went wrong as opposed to starting over.
Source: The Dallas Morning News on 2020 Texas Senate race Jul 28, 2019

Beto O`Rourke: Improve ObamaCare, including public option

Q: Support or Repeal Affordable Care Act (ACA), known as ObamaCare?

Ted Cruz (R): Absolutely repeal. Caused millions to lose their jobs, be forced into part-time work, lose health insurance & doctors & pay skyrocketing premiums.

Beto O'Rourke (D): Keep but improve, including public option. Repeal would reduce healthcare access & benefits, make health insurance less affordable.

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Texas Senate race Oct 9, 2018

Lupe Valdez: Must expand Medicaid; give access to rural communities

Instead of working to make quality healthcare more affordable and accessible, Gov Abbott has done everything he can to end pre-existing condition protections. Therefore, we must accept the $9 billion dollar Medicaid expansion, which would insure 1.5 million people. We must expand access to critical healthcare in our rural communities, which have become medical deserts after Texas has closed down more rural hospitals than any other state in the country in the last eight years.
Source: 2018 Texas Gubernatorial campaign website LupeValdez.com Oct 9, 2018

Ted Cruz: ObamaCare caused millions to lose their jobs

Q: Support or Repeal Affordable Care Act (ACA), known as ObamaCare?

Ted Cruz (R): Absolutely repeal. Caused millions to lose their jobs, be forced into part-time work, lose health insurance & doctors & pay skyrocketing premiums.

Beto O'Rourke (D): Keep but improve, including public option. Repeal would reduce healthcare access & benefits, make health insurance less affordable.

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Texas Senate race Oct 9, 2018

Andrew White: 4-step plan to reduce healthcare costs for everyone

Healthcare is expensive. How do we make it cheaper?
  1. List Prices: When I buy health services, I don't even know what it costs.
  2. Reduce Fraud: Medical professionals who commit fraud need to be in jail.
  3. Reduce Admin Costs: Paperwork drives up the cost. Increase
  4. Preventative Care: We already have universal care. It's called the Emergency Room. And it's expensive.ˇMore coverage means lower healthcare costs.ˇ
Source: 2018 Texas Gubernatorial campaign website AndrewWhite.com Feb 22, 2018

Jodey Arrington: Work tirelessly for repeal of ObamaCare

Repeal and Replace ObamaCare: ObamaCare was sold to the American public based on lies and has been preserved through corruption, lawlessness, and abuse of authority. I will work tirelessly for its repeal and replace it with common sense reforms to expand meaningful, affordable coverage.
Source: 2016 Texas House campaign website JodeyArrington.com Nov 8, 2016

Vicente Gonzalez: Treat healthcare as a basic human right

Increasing Access & Affordability of Healthcare: Healthcare should be treated as a basic human right.
Source: 2016 Texas House campaign website VicenteGonzalez.com Nov 8, 2016

Ben Carson: Health empowerment accounts for families

I propose a system in which we use health empowerment accounts, which are like a health savings account with no bureaucrats. We give it to everybody from birth until death. They can pass it on when they die. We pay for it with the same dollars that we pay for traditional healthcare with. We give people the ability to shift money within their account within their family. So dad's $500 short, mom can give it to him.
Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary Feb 25, 2016

Donald Trump: Keep pre-existing condition coverage; not individual mandate

Q: Senator Rubio, you said that Mr. Trump thinks part of ObamaCare is pretty good. Which part?

RUBIO: The individual mandate. He said he likes the individual mandate portion of it; I don't believe that should remain there. We need to repeal ObamaCare completely and replace it with a system that puts Americans in charge of their health care money again.

TRUMP: I agree with that 100%, except pre-existing conditions, I would absolutely get rid of ObamaCare. I want to keep pre- existing conditions. It's a modern age, and I think we have to have it.

Q: The insurance companies say is that the only way that they can cover people with pre-existing conditions is to have a mandate requiring everybody purchase health insurance. Are they wrong?

TRUMP: I think they're wrong 100%. Look, the insurance companies take care of the politicians [and vice-versa]. The insurance companies are making an absolute fortune. Yes, they will keep preexisting conditions, and that would be a great thing.

Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary Feb 25, 2016

Donald Trump: Removing cross-state barriers solves many insurance issues

TRUMP: We should have gotten rid of the lines around the state so there's competition. The insurance companies are making a fortune on every single thing they do. You're going to see preexisting conditions, but the price will be down, and the insurance companies can pay. Yes, they will keep preexisting conditions, and that would be a great thing. Get rid of ObamaCare, we'll come up with new plans. But, we should keep preexisting conditions.

RUBIO: Here's what you didn't hear in that answer. What is your plan? I understand the lines around the state, whatever that means. This is not a game where you draw maps. What is your plan, Mr. Trump?

TRUMP: You get rid of the lines, it brings in competition. So, instead of having one insurance company taking care of New York, or Texas, you'll have many. They'll compete, and it'll be a beautiful thing.

RUBIO: So, that's the only part of the plan? Just the lines?

Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary Feb 25, 2016

Donald Trump: Chief Justice Roberts: a disaster who gave us ObamaCare

Justice Roberts gave us ObamaCare. Might as well be called Roberts-care. Two times of the Supreme Court, Justice Roberts approved something that he should have never raised his hand to approve. And we ended up with ObamaCare. That judge has been a disaster in terms of everything we stand for because there is no way -- no way that he should have approved ObamaCare.
Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary Feb 25, 2016

John Kasich: Give financial incentive for low cost & good outcomes

I would repeal ObamaCare. I would take some of the federal resources, combine it with the freed-up Medicaid program, which I would send back to the states, and cover the working poor. We are going to make payments to physicians and hospitals who deliver healthcare with great quality at low prices. If you think about your own deductibles, they're going higher and higher. At some point, people can't afford it. Our plan will work. It uses the market.
Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary Feb 25, 2016

Marco Rubio: Let people decide how to spend health care dollars

Repeal ObamaCare and replace it with a system that puts Americans in charge of their health care. If your employer wants to buy insurance for you, they can do so from any company they want. Otherwise, your employers can provide you health care money, tax-free, and you can use that money only for health care. If you don't have that, you will have a refundable tax credit that provides you money to buy your own.
Source: 2016 CNN-Telemundo Republican debate on eve of Texas primary Feb 25, 2016

Greg Abbott: ObamaCare was a bad law from the beginning

Democratic Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi infamously said about ObamaCare that, "we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it." Congresswoman Pelosi was right, and now Texas and the rest of America are beginning to see the consequences-- from rising healthcare costs to businesses being forced to lay off employees.

Greg Abbott knew this was a bad law from the beginning. So on the day ObamaCare was signed into law, he filed a lawsuit challenging its constitutionality. The Supreme Court agreed with General Abbott that Congress illegally tried to seize the states' Medicaid systems. Although, the Supreme Court upheld other onerous parts of ObamaCare, General Abbott has not given up the fight. He continues to challenge this unworkable law and the unprecedented tax it imposes on Americans.

Source: 2014 Texas Gubernatorial campaign website, GregAbbott.com Nov 4, 2014

Emily Sanchez: Supports expanding ObamaCare

Q: Do you support or oppose expanding ObamaCare?

A: Support.

Source: E-mail interview on Texas 2014 Senate race with OnTheIssues Sep 19, 2014

Brian Babin: Work tirelessly to repeal ObamaCare

ObamaCare: I will work tirelessly to repeal it and replace it with policies that work. It's destroying jobs, the economy, and causing millions to lose their promised healthcare policies. Government can never replace the doctor-patient relationship. We should replace it with federal tax credits and free market solutions.
Source: 2014 Texas 36th House campaign website BabinForCongress.com Aug 31, 2014

Steve Stockman: Supported Sen. Ted Cruz's fight to stop ObamaCare

When it comes to policy, Cornyn & Stockman don't disagree on much. They both want to repeal President Obama's healthcare law. Instead, their differences stem from strategy and tactics.

Stockman (aka @SteveWorks4You) is Congress' foremost Twitter troll. He's the type to compare Pres. Obama to Saddam Hussein and call for his impeachment over gun rights. Stockman even invited conservative rocker Ted Nugent to the State of the Union.

Cornyn, well, isn't likely to do any of those things. Cornyn decided in July to remove his signature from a letter demanding that ObamaCare be defunded in a government-funding deal, the strategy that resulted in the government shutdown. That irked Tea Party types like Stockman. "We are extremely disappointed in the way he treated his fellow congressmen and broke the 11th commandment and undermined Ted Cruz's fight to stop ObamaCare," Stockman told World Net Daily. Cornyn has voted multiple times to defund and repeal ObamaCare, according to his office.

Source: Fusion.net editorial on 2014 Texas Senate race Dec 10, 2013

Steve Stockman: Challenge incumbent because he supported ObamaCare

One of Washington's most reliably conservative lawmakers will challenge a mainstay of the Republican establishment--all because the incumbent GOP senator "undermined Sen. Ted Cruz's fight to stop ObamaCare." Rep. Steve Stockman told WND that he will run against Sen. John Cornyn in the 2014 US Senate primary.

Stockman said he is filing the paperwork against his fellow Republican because, "We are extremely disappointed in the way he treated his fellow congressmen and broke the 11th commandment and undermined Sen. Ted Cruz's fight to stop ObamaCare. Now, it looks like Cruz was right and Cornyn was wrong. Cornyn sided with the president, essentially, in making sure ObamaCare became law while Cruz did everything possible to stop it."

It wasn't just what Cornyn did, but how he did it, that rankled Stockman. "If you disagree with someone, that's fine, but I really believe you should do it privately, not so publicly," he said. "He made a big show of removing his name from a letter supporting Cruz."

Source: World Net Daily on 2014 Texas Senate race Dec 10, 2013

John Cornyn: End Congress' carve-out exemption from ObamaCare penalties

Q: Isn't the federal shutdown besides the point? ObamaCare has been passed. Why not keep the government running and then everybody can sit down and decide what they want to do about it?

CORNYN: Well, there should be a negotiation, and this government would still be up and running in full if Harry Reid had allowed Democrats to vote to eliminate the congressional carve-out which treats them favorably under ObamaCare and to treat average Americans the same way the president has decided to treat business with regard to ObamaCare penalties.

Q: But isn't there something wrong when you say, "we won't fund the government unless I can attach my personal wish list to the legislation every time we vote"?

CORNYN: I know you can't reach an agreement and get past this impasse if the president won't negotiate. We've moved from the defund ObamaCare effort to eliminating this congressional carve-out, and eliminating the penalty on individual Americans like the president has done for businesses under ObamaCare.

Source: CBS Face the Nation 2013 series: 2014 Texas Senate race Oct 6, 2013

Paul Sadler: Keep ObamaCare benefits for young adults & elderly

A topic regarding Obama's health care reform morphed into whether Cruz would support Sen. John Cornyn as Majority Whip. Moderators frequently had to guide each candidate back on topic.

But even through this chaotic back-and-forth, the two candidates owned their distinctively different political views. Cruz again cemented his vow to repeal President Obama's Affordable Care Act, while Sadler said Congress can't afford to take away the benefits the reform has offered to young adults and the elderly.

Source: WFAA-TV Dallas-Fort Worth on 2012 Texas Senate debate Oct 2, 2012

Ted Cruz: Vow to repeal ObamaCare

A topic regarding Obama's health care reform morphed into whether Cruz would support Sen. John Cornyn as Majority Whip. Moderators frequently had to guide each candidate back on topic.

But even through this chaotic back-and-forth, the two candidates owned their distinctively different political views. Cruz again cemented his vow to repeal President Obama's Affordable Care Act, while Sadler said Congress can't afford to take away the benefits the reform has offered to young adults and the elderly.

Source: WFAA-TV Dallas-Fort Worth on 2012 Texas Senate debate Oct 2, 2012

Ted Cruz: Throw my body in front of a train to stop ObamaCare

For those who have been through this before, like former Congressman Mark Neumann, they touted experience. "I've written a five year plan to balance the budget by eliminating Obamacare, cutting $1.4 trillion out of the budget," Neumann said raising a printed copy of his plan.
Source: KVUE coverage of 2012 Texas Senate debate Apr 3, 2012

David Dewhurst: Reduce medical lawsuit abuse clogging our court system

Just a short time ago, the Wall Street Journal dubbed Texas the "lawsuit capital of the world," Doctors and health care professionals fled from Texas, and frivolous lawsuits crippled economic development in our state. Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst took on the powerful trial lawyer money machine and passed groundbreaking tort reform legislation to reduce lawsuit abuse clogging our court system. Dewhurst has successfully fought tort reform rollbacks in every legislative session since.
Source: 2012 Senate Campaign website, dewhurstfortexas.com, "Issues" Mar 25, 2012

David Dewhurst: Replace ObamaCare with free-market healthcare

Repeal ObamaCare Dewhurst Plan: Free-Market Healthcare
Source: 2012 Senate Campaign website, dewhurstfortexas.com, "Issues" Mar 25, 2012

Rick Perry: Repeal ObamaCare; simple message to Washington: "Enough"

it's time to repeal ObamaCare, with its mandates that will cripple our healthcare system, and a price tag that will bust our budget. Our Medicaid population and accompanying financial burden are growing as we speak, and, in 2014, ObamaCare will cause them to explode. This Washington-centric healthcare plan puts many states on a collision course with bankruptcy.

Instead of oppressive mandates, we need solutions like block grants, and the freedom to improve health care delivery, with innovation, flexibility and local input from leaders like Senator Jane Nelson. We most definitely do not need Washington encroaching even further on our individual liberties. I hope you'll support Representative Creighton's legislation stating the simple truth-- upheld by at least two federal courts, that it's unconstitutional & wrong for the government to force someone to buy health insurance. In this and other areas of overreach, we must be united in sending one clear and simple message to Washington: "Enough.

Source: 2011 Texas State of the State Address Feb 8, 2011

John Cornyn: Donít expand CHIP nationally until all Texans are covered

Cornyn defended his record on childrenís health care insurance and said Noriega and Texas legislators havenít done enough to get kids enrolled in government plans. He said 800,000 eligible Texas children arenít enrolled in Medicaid and the Childrenís Health Insurance Program.

Cornyn said before expanding CHIP nationally he wants to make sure all eligible Texas children are signed up. Noriega said Cornyn voted multiple times against childrenís health insurance programs.

Source: 2008 Texas Senate Debate reported in Dallas Morning News Oct 17, 2008

Rick Noriega: Enroll all Texas kids in CHIP and other government plans

Cornyn defended his record on childrenís health care insurance and said Noriega and Texas legislators havenít done enough to get kids enrolled in government plans. He said 800,000 eligible Texas children arenít enrolled in Medicaid and the Childrenís Health Insurance Program.

Cornyn said before expanding CHIP nationally he wants to make sure all eligible Texas children are signed up. Noriega said Cornyn voted multiple times against childrenís health insurance programs.

Source: 2008 Texas Senate Debate reported in Dallas Morning News Oct 17, 2008

Jon Roland: Universal health program for military; not general public

Source: Texas Congressional Election 2008 Political Courage Test May 2, 2008

Rick Noriega: Every American has a right to healthcare

Q: Do you support universal health care?

A: Yes. Providing everyone access to health care is the domestic policy change that would most improve the quality of life for Americans. Years ago, we decided free speech wasnít just for the rich. We decided every American has a right to an education. And now itís time to decide that every American has a right to healthcare when sick. It is both morally correct and practically wise, to guarantee the health and productivity of the American people.

Source: Democracy for Texas Questionnaire Response Mar 1, 2008

Barack Obama: My plan does more than anybody to reduce costs

Both Clinton and I want to set up a system in which any person is going to be able to get coverage that is as good as we have as members of Congress. We are going to subsidize those who canít afford it, and make sure that we reduce costs by emphasizing prevention. I want to make sure that weíre applying technology to improve quality, cut bureaucracy. I want to make sure that weíre reducing costs for those who already have health insurance. So we put in place a catastrophic reinsurance plan that would reduce costs by $2,500 per family per year. So weíve got a lot of similarities in our plan. Weíve got a philosophical difference: Clinton believes the only way to achieve universal health care is to force everybody to purchase it. My belief is that people donít have it is not because they donít want it but because they canít afford it. So I emphasize reducing costs. My plan does more than anybody to reduce costs, and there is nobody out there who wants health insurance who canít have it.
Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Barack Obama: My health plan does not leave 15 million people uncovered

There are legitimate arguments for why Clinton and others have called for a mandate, and Iím happy to have that debate. But the notion that I am leaving 15 million people out somehow implies that we are different in our goals of providing coverage to all Americans, and that is simply not true. We think that thereís going to be a different way of getting there. I admire the fact that Clinton tried to bring about health care reform back in 1993. She deserves credit for that. But she did it in the wrong way because it wasnít just the fact that the insurance companies, the drug companies were battling here, and no doubt they were. It was also that Clinton and the administration went behind closed doors, excluded the participation even of Democratic members o Congress who had slightly different ideas than the ones that Clinton had put forward. As a consequence, it was much more difficult to get Congress to cooperate. Iím going to do things differently. We have to open up the process.
Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Barack Obama: Adults will get health care as they can afford it

When Clinton says a mandate, itís not a mandate on government to provide health insurance, itís a mandate on individuals to purchase it. Massachusetts has a mandate right now. They have exempted 20% of the uninsured because they have concluded that that 20% canít afford it. There are people who are paying fines and still canít afford it, so now theyíre worse off than they were. They donít have health insurance and theyíre paying a fine. To force people to get health insurance, youíve got to have a very harsh penalty, and Clinton has said that we wonít go after their wages. The reason a mandate for children can be effective is weíve got an ability to make affordable health care available to that child, right now. There are no excuses. If a parent is not providing health care for that child, itís because the parentís not being responsible, under my plan. Those children donít have a choice. But adults are going to be able to see that they can afford it and will get it under my plan.
Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Hillary Clinton: Make it illegal to discriminate against sick people

You know, 350,000 children in Texas get health care every month because I helped to start the Childrenís Health Insurance Program. And 21,000 National Guard and Reserve members get access to health care because I went across the party line and joined up with a Republican senator to make that happen. So thereís a lot that weíve already done. But thereís so much more to do.

I want to take on the tough issues that face us now. I want to stop the health insurance companies from discriminating against people because theyíre sick. You know, itís unconstitutional to discriminate on the basis of race or gender or ethnic origin or religion, but itís OK to discriminate against sick people. And weíre going to end that, because itís time we said no more.

Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Hillary Clinton: Tired of health insurance companies deciding who live or die

When I took on universal health care back in Ď93 and Ď94, it was against a firestorm of special interest opposition. I was more than happy to do that, because I believe passionately in getting quality affordable health care to every American. I donít want to leave anybody out. I see the results of leaving people out. I am tired of health insurance companies deciding who will live or die.
Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Hillary Clinton: Universal health care will not work if it is voluntary

Obama has a mandate for parents to be sure to ensure their children. I agree with that. If we donít go and require everyone to have health insurance, the health insurance industry will still game the system. Everyone of us with insurance will pay the hidden tax of approximately $900 a year to make up for the lack of insurance. Edwards made a great point. It would be as though Social Security were voluntary. Medicare, one of the great accomplishments of President Johnson, was voluntary. I do not believe that is going to work. You look at what will work and what will not work. If you do not have a plan that starts out attempting to achieve universal health care, you will be nibbled to death, and we will be back here with more and more people uninsured and rising costs. Obama recognizes that unless we have some kind of restriction, we will not get there. Heís also said that if people show up at a hospital sick, without health insurance, maybe at that point you can fine them.
Source: 2008 Democratic debate at University of Texas in Austin Feb 21, 2008

Rick Perry: Medical liability reforms have reduced frivolous lawsuits

As we begin 2007, Texas is perched at the forefront of a new era of prosperity. The economy is growing and government revenues are on the rise. Our state surplus is larger than ever just four years removed from our largest shortfall ever.

Frivolous lawsuits are down, as are insurance rates for homeowners and doctors. Thanks to medical liability reforms, hospitals are once again able to recruit specialists whose expertise can mean the difference between life and death.

Source: Texas 2007 State of the State address Feb 6, 2007

Rick Perry: $50 million nursing initiative to address shortage of nurses

There is an industry shortage we must address because lives are at stake--and that is in our state's nursing profession. I am proposing a $50 million nursing initiative that addresses this shortage in two ways: first, it provides new incentives for recruiting more students and faculty; second, it allows aspiring nurses to become licensed through a pilot program at our hospitals.
Source: Texas 2007 State of the State address Feb 6, 2007

Rick Perry: Healthier Texas: $200M funding pool for uncompensated care

One of the greatest obstacles to individual prosperity is the rising cost of healthcare. Years of hard work and savings can be wiped out with the onset of one life-threatening illness.

Of the 5.5 million uninsured Texans, 2 million are adults with incomes below 200% of the federal poverty level. Most are working Texans whose jobs offer healthcare benefits they can't afford, or no benefits at all.

Today I am proposing a new initiative called "Healthier Texas" that will open the door to more affordable insurance options for two million working Texans. This initiative redirects hundreds of millions of federal dollars spent on uncompensated care for the uninsured to the creation of a funding pool to purchase insurance for working Texans below 200% of the federal poverty level. This solution recognizes the wisdom of expanding the insurance market without a government takeover of your healthcare and without adding one more Texan to the government rolls.

Source: Texas 2007 State of the State address Feb 6, 2007

Barbara Radnofsky: Donít criminalize Medicare negotiating for drug prices

Q: The prescription drug plan prohibits Medicare from negotiating for lower prices of prescription drug. The VA has long negotiated, which results in lower prices for most drugs. Why not allow negotiating?

HUTCHISON: We should look at that, but the plan was a different type of plan, where we had private companies competing, and it is working very well. The ďdonut holeĒ [of missed coverage] gives people the choice to cover the donut hole, or they donít have to, and that determines their cost.

RADNOFSKY: That response addressed the donut hole, not the criminalization of US government conduct. Of course Medicare should be allowed to use its massive bargaining power to negotiate better prices for drugs. It consistently works well for the VA. The only people who are in favor of criminalizing the negotiation of drug prices are people who profit from selling drugs.

JAMESON: Tweaking a bankrupt system is a parlor game. We need a real solution. Iím calling for universal mandatory health insurance.

Source: Texas 2006 Senate Debate, sponsored by LWV-TX (X-ref Hutch) Oct 19, 2006

Kay Bailey Hutchison: Rx Plan has private companies competing to lower drug prices

Q: The prescription drug plan prohibits Medicare from negotiating for lower prices of prescription drug. The VA has long negotiated, which results in lower prices for most drugs. Why not allow negotiating?

HUTCHISON: We should look at that, but the plan was a different type of plan, where we had private companies competing, and it is working very well. The ďdonut holeĒ [of missed coverage] gives people the choice to cover the donut hole, or they donít have to, and that determines their cost.

RADNOFSKY: That response addressed the donut hole, not the criminalization of US government conduct. Of course Medicare should be allowed to use its massive bargaining power to negotiate better prices for drugs. It consistently works well for the VA. The only people who are in favor of criminalizing the negotiation of drug prices are people who profit from selling drugs.

JAMESON: Tweaking a bankrupt system is a parlor game. We need a real solution. Iím calling for universal mandatory health insurance.

Source: Texas 2006 Senate Debate, sponsored by LWV-TX Oct 19, 2006

Scott Jameson: Supports universal mandatory health insurance

Tweaking a bankrupt system is a parlor game. We need a real solution. Iím calling for universal mandatory health insurance. Thereís 300 million of us and 40 million of us donít have health insurance.

It doesnít seem like a classic libertarian position to require everybody to have to do something. But someone coming across a catastrophic financial loss-that hurts me as a member of the community.

Plus having everyone in a universal risk pool is going to lower the cost for everyone who already DOES have insurance. Youíre going to bring in millions of health people who are substantially less likely to make a claim.

Also it would allow us to cover people who are too risky to cover. We can bring in everybody with a universal mandatory healthcare system similar to what we have for liability insurance for automobiles.

How weíre going to pay for this is slowly begin to roll back payroll taxes so individual people can make their own healthcare decisions.

Source: Texas 2006 Senate Debate, sponsored by LWV-TX Oct 19, 2006

Al Gore: Bush policies leave Texas with large Medicaid deficits

Al Gore today met with families and health care professionals to discuss problems with Texas health care. Bush has prioritized large tax cuts over improvements in his home stateís health care system. Now, Texas faces a budget shortfall up to $750 million. Much of this potential shortfall can be attributed to deficits in the Medicaid system that could reach as high as $633 million. 1.4 million of the nationís 11 million uninsured children live in Texas. Bush fought efforts to expand health care to 220,000 Texas children, and 600,000 Texas children have been kept out of Medicaid, in part because of cumbersome administrative procedures. ďTexas is second in the nation for children living in poverty, and second in the nation for people who live in hunger,Ē said Gore. ďIf Governor Bush ran America the way he has run the State of Texas, our prosperity could vanish and our progress could be blocked.Ē
Source: Press Release, ďHealth Care in TexasĒ Jul 20, 2000

George W. Bush: Health insurance for kids from tobacco settlement

Bush provided health insurance for kids. He used Texasí tobacco settlement fund to provide health insurance to children whose families do not qualify for Medicaid and whose family income is 200% or less of poverty level.
Source: GeorgeWBush.com/News/ ď1999 Texas Legislative RecordĒ Jun 25, 1999

George W. Bush: Choose doctor for pay outside of HMOs

Bush allowed Texas patients the right to choose their own doctor. He gave employees the right to choose, even outside their plan, if they are willing to pay additional costs of that coverage.
Source: GeorgeWBush.com/News/ ď1999 Texas Legislative RecordĒ Jun 25, 1999

  • The above quotations are from State of Texas Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Health Care.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2020 Presidential contenders on Health Care:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Please consider a donation to OnTheIssues.org!
Click for details -- or send donations to:
1770 Mass Ave. #630, Cambridge MA 02140
E-mail: submit@OnTheIssues.org
(We rely on your support!)

Page last updated: Oct 14, 2021